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Music / Daughters

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L-R: Samuel Walker, Jon Syverson, Alexis S.F. Marshall, and Nick Sadler

"I've been called a sinner
Wrong doer, evil doer, worker of iniquity
Transgressor, bad example
Scoundrel, villain, knave, miscreant
Viper, wretch, the devil incarnated
A monster, demon, fallen angel, murderer and thief
Lost sheep, black sheep, black guard, loafer and sneak
Good for nothing, ass-fucking son of a bitch
I've been called a sinner."
— Alexis S.F. Marshall, "Daughters Spelled Wrong"

Daughters are a rock band from Providence, Rhode Island. Their sound is most commonly pigenonholed as Noise Rock, but over the course of their career they've done everything from mathgrind to Post-Punk to Industrial.

They were founded in the early 2000s by vocalist Alexis S.F. Marshall, guitarist Jeremy Wabiszczewicz, and drummer Jon Syverson following the breakup of their previous band, the grindcore act As the Sun Sets. They then added guitarist Nick Sadler and bassist Pat Masterson to the lineup before issuing their debut releases: the Daughters EP in 2002, and their debut album Canada Songs in 2003. These records exhibited a math-influenced grindcore sound in the same vein as As the Sun Sets, featuring extremely short and fast songs with Harsh Vocals.

However, on their subsequent album Hell Songs, the band started to come into their own, switching to a more noise rock-inspired sound while Marshall abandoned the metal screams in favor of a clean singing style reminiscent of David Yow and Nick Cave. They became known for their raucous and violent live shows, with Marshall frequently performing completely nude and assaulting audience members, among other things. They released a Self-Titled Album in 2010, considered to be the band's most diverse and accessible record to date, but broke up shortly afterwards due to increasing tensions between Marshall and the rest of the band.

The band lay dormant for three years before Marshall and Sadler were convinced to bury the hatchet with each other. The two then reached out to Jon Syverson and bassist Samuel Walker, both of whom agreed to reform Daughters, and work was started on a comeback album. After a lengthy creative process which saw over a hundred songs written, the band finally returned with the album You Won't Get What You Want in 2018, which opened to the best sales and reviews of their whole career.

In October 2021, Marshall was accused of abuse by his ex-girlfriend Kristin Hayter, better known as a musician under the alias Lingua Ignota. Hayter elaborated on her accusation in December of that year, providing a full document of instances of rape and mental abuse that allegedly occurred during their relationship from July 2019 to June 2021. Marshall released a statement denying the allegations and announcing that he would investigate legal options.

Days before Hayter released her December statement, Daughters announced on their Patreon that they were "pressing pause on Daughters activity for the immediate future", canceling a pair of scheduled January 2022 shows. They have been on hiatus since.


Current band members:

  • Alexis S.F. Marshall - Vocals, lyrics
  • Nick Sadler - Guitars
  • Jon Syverson - Drums
  • Samuel Walker - Bass

Former band members:

  • Jeremy Wabiszczewicz – guitar (2002–2003)
  • Pat Masterson – bass (2002–2004)
  • Perri Peete – guitar (2003–2004)
  • Brent Frattini – guitar (2003–2007)



  • The Alcoholic: Alexis S.F. Marshall was deep in the bottle for most of their history. His unrestrained drinking was responsible for much of his erratic onstage behavior as well as the tensions with his bandmates that eventually forced the group to break up. He's been sober and in recovery since 2012.
  • Bait the Dog: One way of interpreting "Ocean Song" is that Paul finally decides to stop avoiding his problems and follow his own path in life, represented by him running triumphantly into the ocean, only to realize in "Guest House" that it's too late and he can never fulfill his dreams.
  • Berserk Button: Lex seems to really hate people filming their concerts with their phones. If he notices anyone in the front row with their phone out during a song he'll usually grab and destroy it.
  • Boléro Effect: Used to chilling effect in "City Song".
  • Breather Episode: "Less Sex" and "Daughter" could be considered this for You Won't Get What You Want, as they're both slower and lighter than the rest of the record to a slight degree, with the former being a slow industrial track with relatively mild lyrics while the latter is basically a Goth Rock song that gets almost danceable at certain points. They're also sandwiched in between "The Lords Song" and "The Reason They Hate Me", two of the fastest songs on the record.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: "The First Supper".
    "That eating the flesh of another man
    Will give the other that man's strength
    You can steal the soul by looking in the eyes
    When the teeth sink in"
  • Careful with That Axe: Marshall's vocals on Canada Songs consist entirely of banshee-like screaming.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Paul from "The Virgin".
  • Concept Album: You Won't Get What You Want is half a concept album, with "City Song", "The Flammable Man", "Ocean Song", and "Guest House" seemingly being connected stories.
  • Cover Version: They've covered "Big Cheese", "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter", "Marry Me (Lie Lie)", and "What's Inside a Girl" for various compilations.
  • Creepy Monotone: Whenever Alexis Marshall does spoken word, it comes out like this. Special mention goes to "City Song", where he sounds like a catatonic trauma victim.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The videos for "City Song", "Less Sex", and "Guest House", the covers of the self-titled and You Won't Get What You Want, and every single thing Lex posts on Instagram. It's fair to say it's probably Author Appeal at this point.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: The cover of Hell Songs, by far their most ornate album cover.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The last minute or so of "Guest House" seems to be this for the narrator.
  • Downer Ending: "Guest House" closes out You Won't Get What You Want in a supremely bleak fashion, with the narrator desperately begging to be let into the titular house, only to find it dark and empty with all the entrances blocked. The last minute has him futilely screaming "LET ME IN" over and over again as the song gives way to a haunting synth outro. Considering its partial nature as a Concept Album and the World of Symbolism everything happens in, the song takes on an even darker meaning, showing how the protagonist is unable to find any refuge or peace of mind despite trying to change his life.
  • Drone of Dread:
    • The last seconds of "I Slept with Daughters and All I Got Was This Lousy Song Written About Me" are a trippy synth drone paired with some creepy echoing guitars. Coming on the otherwise cacophonous Canada Songs, it's out of place enough to qualify as a Last Note Nightmare.
    • "Satan in the Wait" is built around a droning guitar line that sounds like an air raid siren.
    • "Ocean Song" has about a minute of this as part of its Last Note Nightmare.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The Daughters EP and Canada Songs are both relatively straightforward mathcore with harsh vocals.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "City Song" has a minute long intro consisting solely of a pulsing electronic drone and booming, offbeat snare hits.
  • Epic Rocking: Though relatively mild compared to many other bands, You Won't Get What You Want has a huge amount of this in comparison to their previous albums. Of its 10 songs, 4 are more than 5 minutes long, with the longest ones being "Ocean Song" (7:28), "Satan in the Wait" (7:06), and "City Song" (5:56). Meanwhile on Hell Songs, we have the penultimate track "Cheers Pricks" (6:00).
  • Fan Disservice: There's a lot of nudity in the "Less Sex" video, but none of it is remotely sexy.
  • Flowery Insults:
  • Foreshadowing: "The Flammable Man" mentions how the narrator doesn't live near the ocean anymore, which is referenced again in "Ocean Song" where the protagonist runs away from his home to reach the ocean, presumably as a way of getting back to his old life.
  • Full-Frontal Assault:
    • Used to happen at nearly every show they played, with Lex taking all his clothes off and then either violently attacking or spraying various body fluids at people in the audience. He's mellowed out considerably since then, but is still a fairly wild frontman.
    • The final line in "The Virgin" implies that Paul might end up like this after a psychotic break.
      "Paul wears a hat of fire
      When he is all but naked
      With a handgun on your front lawn"
  • Genre-Busting: They've done everything from post-hardcore to noise rock to grindcore. You Won't Get What You Want and their self-titled album are particularly diverse.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: In "The Virgin", it's shown that Paul's self-imposed isolation is driving him insane, possibly to the point of violence if the last line is any indication.
  • God Is Evil: "The Lords Song" posits that God is a sadist who created humans just so they could suffer.
  • Gonk: The subject of "Satan in the Wait".
    "That bastard had a head like a matchstick
    Face like he had sucked concrete through a straw
    Some faces not even a mother can love"
  • Harsh Vocals: Only on their first EP and Canada Songs.
  • The Hedonist: Lex was one for pretty much all of the 2000s. He's said that most of the lyrics on the band's first albums were about his inability to resist drugs and sex during this period.
  • Hikikomori: Paul, the protagonist of "The Virgin", is a paranoid shut-in whose loneliness is steadily driving him insane, yet he denies that anything is amiss.
  • Homage: The desert area seen in the "Less Sex" video is probably meant to evoke the climax in 7.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: "The First Supper", being based on the movie Ravenous, is all about ritual cannibalism in the Old West.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Canada Songs due to the metal screams. Even Lex's "clean" vocals can sometimes get so garbled that it's hard to distinguish by ear.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Used a lot in their first three records.
    • The debut EP gives us "Hello Assholes", "Flattery Is a Bunch of Fucking Bullshit", and "Room Full of Hard-ons and Nowhere to Sit Down".
    • Canada Songs has a lot, most notably "Pants, Meet Shit", "I Don't Give a Shit About Wood, I'm Not a Chemist", "Mike Morowitz, the Fantasy Fuck" and "Nurse, Would You Please Prep the Patient for the Sexual Doctor".
    • Hell Songs gives us the last three tracks, "Crotch Buffet", "Cheers Pricks", and "The Fuck Whisperer".
  • Intercourse with You: "I Slept with Daughters and All I Got Was This Lousy Song Written About Me" is a rather oblique example, seemingly about an empty and destructive relationship based solely on sex. "The Ghost with the Most" is similar, being about The Casanova character who uses his womanizing to cover up his emotional emptiness.
  • Last Note Nightmare:
    • "I Slept with Daughters and All I Got Was This Lousy Song Written About Me" ends with a jarringly quiet and understated Drone of Dread.
    • "Cheers Pricks" has another Nothing Is Scarier example. The last two minutes consist of quiet, looped guitar and an improv drum solo playing in the distance. Again, the contrast between this section and the cacophony elsewhere on the record is extremely creepy.
    • "Ocean Song" closes with an unnerving Madness Mantra followed by a Drone of Dread.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • The self-titled LP is much catchier and more accessible than its predecessors, and while it's still quite heavy, its tone is nowhere near as psychotic as those albums. It's also probably the only album they've made that can legitimately be described as "fun".
    • Though it's by no means a light or soft record, You Won't Get What You Want is a bit less musically heavy overall than their previous material, with melodic elements sprinkled into many of the heavier tracks like "Satan in the Wait". They've also toned down their live shows somewhat; Lex now keeps his clothes on for the whole set and mostly refrains from attacking audience members.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: "Less Sex" alternates between variations on the phrase "I let it into my head/home/heart/bed" and "Led a long way down". The only exception is when Alexis sings "I gave it complete control".
  • List Song: "Less Sex" mostly just lists things the narrator let some unspecified "It" into.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: "The Ghost with the Most" on Canada Songs, at a mere 1:53, still manages to be this.
  • Loser Protagonist: Paul, the main character in both "The Virgin" and "Ocean Song".
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Daughters Spelled Wrong" and "The Flammable Man".
  • Madness Mantra: Comes up a lot throughout You Won't Get What You Want.
    • "City Song" repeats the phrase "This city is an empty glass" constantly.
    • "I don't lie" is repeated over and over again in "The Flammable Man".
    • "Daughter" closes with Marshall just repeating the line "Knowing they'll die here and there" again and again.
    • The last verse of "Ocean Song" is the same three lines repeated around a dozen times.
      "To know, to see for himself
      If there is an ocean beyond the waves
      Beyond the waves"
    • The repeated screams of "LET ME IN!" in "Guest House", which close out the album.
    • "Hyperventilationsystem" on Hell Songs gives us "LOVE IS A DISGUSTING THING!"
    • "The Fuck Whisperer" has "It's already too late".
    • "The Virgin" has "PAUL WEARS A HAT OF FIRE!"
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Getting his hog out on stage was one of the tamer things Lex would do back in the day.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: "Ocean Song" could be a supernatural horror story about some undefinable force of terror suddenly inhabiting the protagonist's house, or it could simply be about a normal man finally growing sick of his daily routine and deciding to throw everything away and start a new life somewhere else.
  • Metalcore: Canada Songs and Hell Songs, of the mathcore varitation.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: Daughters and You Won't Get What You Want.
  • Miniscule Rocking: Almost exclusively so until relatively recently. Their debut album goes through 10 songs in 10 minutes, the longest being just seven seconds short of two minutes. Hell Songs has only four out of ten songs go over two minutes. Until You Won't Get What You Want, they only had three songs go over 4 minutes, two of which came from their Self-Titled Album.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Flattery Is a Bunch of Fucking Bullshit" abruptly switches from battering grindcore to a clean instrumental that wouldn't sound out of place on an American Football album. It's easily the gentlest moment in the band's entire catalog.
  • Motif: Lex has a lyrical obsession with fire, in particular using the act of self-immolation as a metaphor for mental instability.
  • Mythology Gag: The last shot of the video for "Guest House" shows the protagonist calmly sitting in a chair while his hands catch on fire, which is presumably a reference to "The Flammable Man" and "The Virgin".
  • New Sound Album: Every album evolves their sound in some way, but the most drastic examples would be Hell Songs, which moved away from the limited grindcore sound of their first two albums to a more diverse mathcore/noise rock sound with exclusively clean singing, and You Won't Get What You Want, which massively expands the band's sound with influences from industrial, drone, noise, and post-punk.
  • Nightmare Face: The cover of You Won't Get What You Want is a ghostly white painted face with empty eyes floating in black background.
  • No Ending:
    • "City Song" builds up to a thunderous climax before the music just abruptly stops as Alexis sings the last verse a capella.
    • The narrative of "Ocean Song" ends with Paul apparently running so far he reaches the ocean before he starts swimming. The narrative just sort of stops there, though "Guest House" is generally believed to be a continuation that shows Paul reaching his childhood home.
  • Non-Indicative Name: They're all men, for one thing.
    • Canada Songs doesn't mention the nation of Canada even once.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Used narratively, and to a lesser extent musically, on You Won't Get What You Want.
    • The protagonist of "Ocean Song" senses something horrible waiting for him inside his house when he gets home from work. Whatever it is, it's scary enough to make him run as far as he can in a blind panic, not even stopping when he gets to the ocean. Whether there's anything actually there is never revealed.
    • It's never revealed why the narrator in "Guest House" is so desperate to be let into the titular house, nor why said house is completely locked up and abandoned. Mention is also made of a "winter hell-creature" that isn't elaborated upon. Additionally, while the song itself definitely doesn't qualify, the video certainly does. Up until the protagonist's hands catch fire at the end, nothing really happens. It just shows a man wandering through various desolate locations with a completely empty look on his face.
    • In "Less Sex", it's never revealed what exactly "it" is.
    • The outro to "I Slept with Daughters and All I Got Was This Lousy Song Written About Me" is so quiet and out of place compared to the rest of the record that it actually becomes incredibly creepy.
    • The last two minutes of "Cheers Pricks" are similar, consisting of quiet, gentle improv after a cacophonous and abrasive song. The sudden transition from one to the other is weirdly disturbing.
  • Older Than They Look: Nick basically never stopped looking like a teenager.
  • Portent of Doom: Mentioned in "Ocean Song" as part of the song's use of Nothing Is Scarier and Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane.
    "In a moment he turns to the sky
    He notices it is darker now than it used to be
    It is darker now at this hour than it was last week"
  • Sanity Slippage Song: More than half their songs. "Cheers Pricks" perhaps best exemplifies this. "The Flammable Man" and "Guest House" are also notable here.
    "I can't keep my eye from twitching
    I can't make sense of this
    If it's ringing in my head or in my ears
    I cannot tell the difference"
  • Scare Chord: The guitars are frequently used for this purpose, especially on "Ocean Song" where the bass carries most of the song and the guitars are basically used as Jump Scares, and "Cheers Pricks" where guitar feedback is employed for borderline Sensory Abuse.
  • Special Guest: Mia Matsumiya of Kayo Dot fame provides violin on "Providence by Gaslight".
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: The climax of "City Song" features at least 3 vocal tracks: two in which Alexis is singing, set several seconds apart, and seemingly multiple tracks of him screaming in horror.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: "The Virgin" implies that Paul is perfectly capable of taking off his "hat of fire" and becoming a better person, but he refuses to due to his paranoia and complacency.
  • Self-Titled Album: Two of them, actually!
  • Sensory Abuse: Hell Songs is full of this, but the incredibly high pitched guitar shriek 7 seconds into "Cheers Pricks" takes the cake.
  • Sex Bot: "Jones from Indiana" is about one.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Alexis normally performs in a suit these days. It's a marked change from his old style.
  • Signature Style: The band as a whole has a rather amorphous sound, but one of the few constant elements is Nick Sadler's dissonant, atonal guitar playing and Lex's yelping vocals.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Very far on the cynical end.
  • The Something Song: "City Song", "The Lords Song", and "Ocean Song".
  • Spiritual Successor: To As the Sun Sets.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Most notably used in "City Song". "The Ghost With the Most" has some of this going on beneath the screaming.
  • Stable Time Loop: It's hinted that the intro to "City Song" is actually the knocking on the door mentioned in "Guest House", with the album's story forming a perfect circle.
  • Surreal Horror: Both musically and lyrically.
  • Surreal Music Video:
    • "Less Sex", which juxtaposes footage of Marshall singing on an empty stage, some desolate industrial area in the desert, and images of nude women, snakes, and wolves.
    • "Guest House" is done in a similar style, contrasting the manic intensity of the music with serene footage of a man wandering through a forest and an empty house, apparently losing his mind.
  • Take That, Critics!: "The Reason They Hate Me" is directed against pretentious music journalists.
  • Textless Album Cover: All of them after Canada Songs.
  • World Half Empty: Fully empty in "City Song", actually, which describes the titular city as an "empty glass".
  • World of Symbolism: The story in You Won't Get What You Want seems to be heavily symbolic, with the city, the ocean, and the house all being archetypal locations representing the mental state of the main character.
  • Wretched Hive: "City Song" is about one.

"In the air: shrieks
The breath is long
And the fires are out
The water sits still"