Follow TV Tropes


Music / Daughters

Go To
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, villian, 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 Genre-Busting experimental rock band from Providence, Rhode Island. Their sound is most commonly pigenonholed as Noise Rock, but they incorporate elements of many other genres into their sound such as Post-Punk, Grindcore, and and Industrial to name a few.

They were founded in the early aughts 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 added guitarist Nick Sadler and bassist Pat Masterson to the lineup before releasing their debut EP, Daughters, in 2002, and debut LP, Canada Songs, in 2003. These records were mathy grindcore in the same vein as As the Sun Sets, featuring extremely short, fast songs with Harsh Vocals. However, on the subsequent album Hell Songs, the band started to come in 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 3 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 You Won't Get What You Want in 2018, to the best sales and reviews of their whole career.

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)


  • Daughters (EP, 2002)
  • Canada Songs (2003)
  • Hell Songs (2006)
  • Advertisement:
  • Daughters (2010)
  • You Won't Get What You Want (2018)

Tropes displayed by Daughters:

  • 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.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: Even considering the Genre Roulette on You Won't Get What You Want, "Less Sex" comes out of nowhere. It's way slower and more radio friendly than anything else they've done, almost sounding like a Nine Inch Nails track.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Alexis S.F. Marshall, usually shortened to "Lex" by fans.
  • Badass Baritone: Lex's voice is naturally pretty deep, as can be heard on some of their slower tracks like "City Song" and "Less Sex".
  • Badass Mustache: Samuel Walker has a pretty mean handlebar. Marshall used to have one until he got sober.
  • 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"
  • 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", and "Marry Me (Lie Lie)" 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 video for "Less Sex".
  • 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 of the song 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 mathy but straightforward grindcore with harsh vocals.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "City Song" has a minute long intro consisting solely of a pulsing electronic beat 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" (7:18), "Satan in the Wait" (7:06), and "City Song" (5:56). Meanwhile on Hell Songs, we have the penultimate track "Cheers Pricks" (6:00).
  • Filk Song: "The First Supper" is based on the movie Ravenous (1999).
  • Flowery Insults: Mixed with Long List and Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking on "Daughters Spelled Wrong".
    "I've been called a sinner
    Wrong doer, evil doer
    Worker of iniquities
    Transgressor, bad example
    Scoundrel, villain, knave
    Miscreant, viper, wretch
    The devil incarnate
    A monster, demon, fallen angel
    Murderer and thief
    Lost sheep, black sheep, blackguard
    Loafer and sneak
    Good for nothing fucking son of a bitch"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hikikomori: Paul, the protagonist of "The Virgin", is a paranoid shut-in whose loneliness causes him to be suspicious of everyone he meets.
  • 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: 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 a 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: 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.
  • Long Title: They love this.
    • On Canada Songs: "I Slept with the Daughters and All I Got Was This Lousy Song Written About Me", "And Then the C.H.U.D.s Came", "Mike Morowitz, the Fantasy Fuck", "Nurse, Would You Please Prep the Patient for Sexual Doctor", "I Don't Give a Shit About Wood, I'm Not a Chemist", and "Damn Those Blood Suckers and Their Good Qualities".
    • The debut EP has "Flattery is a Bunch of Fucking Bullshit", "Room Full of Hard-Ons and Nowhere to Sit Down", and "My Stereo Has Mono and So Does My Girlfriend".
    • You Won't Get What You Want is a lesser example.
  • 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".
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Getting his hog out 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.
  • 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. Until You Won't Get What You Want, they only had two songs go over 4 minutes.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally in the 8-10 range, though some of their more conventional tracks can go down to a 6 or 7.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: The climax of "City Song" features at least 3 vocal tracks: One in which Alexis is singing, another one echoing the first, and seemingly multiple tracks of him screaming in horror.
  • 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.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. 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.
  • Take That, Critics!: "The Reason They Hate Me" is directed against know-it-all 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"

Example of: