Daughters bring terror, torture to the Gothic Theatre

Henry Netherland

About three months ago, New England noise rock band, Daughters, ended their decade long disbandment to create the most terrifying album of 2018: “You Won’t Get What.”

The quartet performed at Denver’s Larimer Lounge in mid-November in promotion for the new record. Just a few months later, they came back for round two with special guests Tuesday night at the Gothic Theatre in Englewood.

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HIDE

HIDE was the lowest profile act of the night. This isn’t saying much considering half the set was shrouded in complete darkness, and the other half bathed in a blinding white light.

Unlike the acts that would go on later, their set was a combination of noise, electronic and industrial music. Their setup was incredibly minimal, using only their vocals and a separate DJ setup. It felt as though I was at an artsy New York DJ house show if the DJ was really into gothic avant-garde music.

Overall, the set was unique and eye-grabbing, but many of the beats felt repetitive and like they didn’t really go anywhere. The only things they used to break up the monotony was unorthodox vocal patterns and moments of silence to build up tension.

5/10

Gouge Away

Gouge Away is a much more standard hardcore punk outfit. Lead singer Christina Michelle has a higher, raspier tone that reminds me quite a bit of another female-led punk band, Sharptooth.

The set had a consistently noisy and harsh sound, which created a bit of uniformity. At one point, the band pulls it back a bit with mellower, more melodic guitar chords.

All of the performances were shrinkwrap tight; however, my main issue was that the vocals were not mixed loud enough to be audible through the speakers. This can be expected from a punk show to a certain extent, but their voices should not be entirely drowned out, especially during slower moments.

7/10

Daughters

Of course, the show’s headliner blew everyone else out of the water. Everything that was beautifully noisy and abrasive about the record is amplified twice in a live setting. For example, the chime sounds on “Satan in the Wait” were much more intense and soaring in person. Every musician on stage was perfectly in line with each other, playing in peak coordination.

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Frontman, Alexis S.F. Marshall‘s vocals are constantly shouted in a strained and kind of yelpy tone. His yelling is less about expressing a form of ferocity and discontent and more about expressing the pain and turmoil of inner conflict.

I loved Marshall’s strange on-stage mannerisms like spitting on consenting audience members, making members of the crowd slap him in the face and having a complete disregard for the microphone by swinging and beating the shit out of it. It felt similar to GG Allin’s on-stage antics, but without nearly as many body fluids. What made it great was that it didn’t feel like he was trying too hard to be abrasively weird. Rather, he used his on-stage presence to hammer home the bizarrely dark and disturbing imagery of the band’s music.

Daughters performs at the Gothic Theatre tuesday evening. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

The band admits their music is not meant to appeal to everyone. The band’s drummer, Jon Syverson said their music isn’t intended to elicit a specific emotion from the listener.

“Making the music, we want to affect you one way or the other,” Syverson said. “We’re not really concerned with how we affect you; we just want to affect you. Everyone reacts differently, but I think the intent is there’s not necessarily a specific plan in mind, but we try to be gross and pretty at the same time.”

I really don’t have any critiques aside from wishing the band used silence more as a method to build suspense. Other than that, the performances were animated, the atmosphere was ideally dark and brooding and the audience-band interactions were scarily in sync.

9/10

Something to take away from this show is that good music doesn’t always make you feel good afterward. Sometimes it leaves you with mild anxiety and ringing ears. I loved the mystery surrounding each artist. There wasn’t much in the way of crowd banter aside from the most basic of greetings. Normally this would be a turn-off for me, but in this aesthetic context, I believe it adds to the ambiguity of every artist.

Henry Netherland can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @NetherlandHenry.