SAN FRANCISCO — East Coast noise rockers Daughters shook up all senses at The Independent on Sunday night at a sold-out show that closed out the Noise Pop Music Festival. The band played a harrowing arrangement of new songs off their 2018 album, You Won’t Get What You Want, as well as some older tracks.
Daughters began with the grating aggression of “The Reason They Hate Me.” Lead singer Alexis Marshall screamed the mantra “you don’t tell me how to do my job!” over thundering kick drums and screeching guitars. The band quickly jumped into the head-banging noisecore track “The Lords Song.” The fast-paced tempo of the song complemented Marshall’s visceral vocal approach as he wailed maniacly, “I cry about it.”
The group then played single “Satan In The Wait.” Marshall desperately shouted his spoken-word lyrics while the band constructed a wall of eerie distortion behind him. A bright, yet surprisingly haunting synthesizer provided some much-needed atmosphere. “Today is tomorrow, someday and tomorrow is gonna feel like yesterday,” Marshall belted during the culminating notes.
Daughters then transitioned into older songs like “The Dead Singer.” Marshall viciously repeated, “You can’t let it go!” through chaotic guitar riffage and crashing symbols. “Recorded Inside a Pyramid,” another older track, built into a symphony of sonic destruction.
Other standout moments included the band’s rendition of newer cut “Long Road No Turns.” Marshall reiterated themes of anger and confusion as his vocal timbre reached fever pitch. “These are just the words to somebody else’s song,” He continued to shout. “It may please your heart to see some shackled/ Wrists and throat/ Naked as the day they were.” The deafening volume emphasized his frustrations with society.
Marshall commanded the stage with intoxicating madness. Thrashing around, he would often violently smash the microphone on the ground like a hammer, or even stuff the microphone and the chord inside his mouth. Though the performance was over an hour long, he maintained that same high energy throughout. Daughters also demonstrated a high level of technical proficiency and disturbing noisiness worthy of Swans and Merzbow.
Florida Hardcore band Gouge Away set the tone earlier in the night with a remarkably energetic display led by singer Christina Michelle. Throughout the half-hour set, Michelle sang over rapid distorted guitar, thumping bass and ear-shattering percussion. Gouge Away did include some softer flashes to balance out the intensity. In these moments, Michelle’s voice rang through the room in a light, almost feathery way—in stark contrast to the ensuing waves on distortion.
Experimental electronic duo Hide began the night with a truly unique and visceral performance. Lead vocalist Heather Gabel crept through the fog on stage to shout “Hey baby, I said hey baby!/ Are you sad?” Bandmate Seth Sher then abruptly dropped into a scathing, minimalist synthesizer riff. Throughout the duo’s set, Gabel was dancing and writhing around on stage while she shouted abstract vocal lines. The combination of musical and visual elements created a full-sensory experience of complete dismentation.