Monday, 4 April 2016

Album Review: Fits Of Disorganized Boredom by Problem Daughter


Dying Scene Records is fast becoming one of my favourite record labels. They are consistently putting out fantastic punk rock records. Recently they put out Salt Lake City band Problem Daughter's brand new album Fits Of Disorganized Boredom. I heard a couple of the songs before the album was properly released and I loved them so was very excited for the full release.


The first time I listened to Problem Daughter one of the first things I noticed about the band was lead singer Regan Ashton's voice, it's not like any I’ve heard before. It's kind of a cross between snarling and whining but with a pop twinge. I really love it! The opening song on Fits Of Disorganized Boredom is O Bother, Where Art Thou? It starts out with some buzzing guitars and a thick bass line before some great, sing-a-long vocals come in. Immediately this is an album that screams fun. The song is about looking back on your mistakes in a relationship and is filled with great pop hooks and a quick tempo that fills the song with energy. Up next is the brilliantly titled Alda, Small Things. I love how this song starts with just vocals and a quiet guitar in the background. Within the first thirty seconds of hearing this song I can easily imagine it becoming a live favourite for the band. It's a pop punk masterpiece that doesn't really sound a lot like your typical pop punk song, which is an impressive achievement. This is in large part due to the vocals, which do a great job in keeping Problem Daughter sounding fresh and unique. The third song is named My Other House Is A Meth Lab and is just fantastic! After starting out with some jangly guitar and some vocals the song surprises me by moving into a more ska/reggae sound. To throw in a different style so early on the album shows a good amount of bravery from the band. Eventually Problem Daughter do return to their more familiar pop punk sound complete with an outstanding and punch chorus as the band sings "H-A-P-P-Y Lets Celebrate". Brilliantly uplifting and a completely epic track. The fourth song, Liars, starts raw and acoustic for a few seconds before things switch to full electric punk rock. It's like Problem Daughter are treating us to a brief glimpse of the first demo of the song. When Liars does start properly there is a bit more gruffness in Ashton's vocals, reminding me of the Flatliner's Chris Cresswell. The tempo of the song is slower than the previous songs with the band really focussing on the melody.

Lousy Smarch Weather takes is on a bit of a musical adventure. It begins with a upbeat, fresh pop punk sound that's perfect for dancing to before changing the mood with a slower, more deliberate, pounding sound. This then builds into a far angrier version of Problem Daughter than we've heard before; there is some real venom in the vocals. Lousy Smarch Weather then goes full circle by returning to the fresh pop punk sound to complete the song. The song is almost like a much shorter version of NOFX's The Decline. Like A Dog sees the band enter the realm of anthemic rock music. Starting out with a simple yet wonderfully catchy repetitive introduction before the striking lyrics of "I Slit My Wrists, Just To Watch The Crimson Flow" really get the song going. Lyrics like these grab your attention immediately. The song is a slow burner that really uses the vocals to carry the melody throughout. There is a great deal of theatre around the vocals that make me think that seeing this song performed live would be something else. The penultimate song on Fits Of Disorganized Boredom is titled Splinters. Splinters is another song with plenty of tempo changes that make you feel like you've been on a rollercoaster. Problem Daughter are experts at hooking you into a song and keeping you for its entirety. The highlight of Splinters is the breakdown in the middle part of the song where Ashton shouts out "Why Is It So Hard To Sing Without You?" over a pounding drum beat. Splinters transitions into the final track Dracula On A Budget perfectly. So perfect in fact I didn't realise that one song had finished and the other had begun. I like that. Dracula On A Budget is more of a conventional punk track and a great way to finish the album. It's a punchy, upbeat song that will get you singing in no time at all. The song is about not being stubborn and learning when it's time to move on. I really like the line "Our Time And Each Other Are All We've Got". A really simple but also lovely way to look at life. As with all the great pop punk songs, the song grows towards a fantastic sing-a-long chorus that will get a whole room singing as loud as they can.

This is an early album of the year contender. It's only eight songs long but it packs so much into those eight songs. Smart and engaging lyrics, great melodies and hooks and, most of all, it puts a big smile on my bearded face.

Like Problem Daughter here: https://www.facebook.com/problemdaughter

Stream and download Fits Of Disorganized Boredom here: https://dyingscenerecords.bandcamp.com/album/fits-of-disorganized-boredom