EP Review: Boss’ Daughter – “Sleep”

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2015 was a banner year for this fantastic, fledgling punk act from Reno, Nevada. Within that twelve month period, they saw their debut full length LP, Songs Are Songs release to rave reception while also adding to their already potent popularity with the smashingly successful #MaximumPartyTimeTour in support of said album (10,020 miles, 29 states in 48 days, playing 39 shows). It appears that Chris Fox and the boys are on a similar path to prosperity for 2016 with the recent release of their new EP Sleep. More experience and more time on the road together has only solidified the reputation that this rapidly rising band has earned. The album is more polished and shows good progression from their previous offering while still maintaining familiarity with themes like drinking, sleeping, touring and missing friends, that have all become calling cards of this this tipsy trio. Wrap all of that up in sickeningly catchy, genuine music and you have yourself a winner. Check out the full review on this outstanding EP below!

One of my favorite things about Boss’ Daughter is getting to watch their songs transform from hollow, solo acoustic versions performed by furry frontman, Chris Fox, to full on punk rock tunes. Like a beer guzzling butterfly emerging from it’s cocoon after investing weeks of tireless effort to mutate from it’s more rudimentary state, the songs take on a totally different form. Now that most of the original acoustic versions have gotten the complete punk transfusion though, we’re also getting treated to a growing number of brand new, previously unreleased tracks. As always, this tremendous trio pushes the genre to it’s boundaries, mixing orthodox skate punk with other traditional and non-traditional styles like bluegrass, hardcore and ska, creating music that has unique depth to it that keeps the listener engaged.

“All That I Know” is a perfect opening salvo for this thirteen minute, five track EP, kicking things off abruptly with an alacritous, addicting guitar riff and setting the table nicely for what’s to follow. Not that you don’t know what these guys are all about but it’s always good to have it reinforced, especially at the beginning of a new album. This all new track fulfills that goal, featuring uncomplicated, unorthodox vocal harmonies within rapid and violent, emotionally charged choruses.

Also a previously unreleased track, “Help To Forget”  shows off some of the band’s creativity and perhaps a raise in talent level, foregoing the typical recipe of ‘slow verse/fast chorus/slow verse’ found in most punk songs and instead, the verses aggressively build throughout the song and add grittiness with blistering speed and brutality while the brilliantly written choruses are slower, more deliberate parts of the song (Twelve Ounces / To forget / What we said / I can’t think about it). A happy side effect of this nonstandard composition, is that it makes the song the most aggressive of all the tracks, teetering on the edge of calamity throughout with very little respite.

“Stupidier Chords, Stupider Words, Stupider Song” is a sequel to a track from their debut LP (you’ll know which one when you see it) and similar to it’s precursor, it starts with a country twang, with heavy, washtub type bass riffs rumbling in the background. The fundamental sound and tempo are also comparable to it’s brother track which ties the two songs together in an intriguing, almost organic way. Of all the tracks, this one best illustrates the straightforward songwriting of Mr. Fox, having a sense of openness, verging on conversational, like you’re just in the backyard with him enjoying a beer.

All five tracks are expertly composed and performed, but in my humble opinion, “Sleep” is the most complete song on the album. I think it’s due to it being one of the few remaining that were birthed from the charismatic frontman’s solo career. It features intricately placed brass, woven into the fabric of the choruses which somehow squeeze lyrics in where they shouldn’t fit now because of the increased clip in which it’s played. The addition of horns adds so much to this version, exquisitely filling in the gaps that the original acoustic version had. I’m still uncertain as to which version I like better. This new incarnation has so many layers to it though, I hear something else, something different that makes me love it even more almost every time I listen to it.

“Weak Week” is another new track and rounds the album out in fine fashion. It also showcases the maturity that the boys have gained through putting in an insane amount of work over the past few years and grinding through grueling tour and recording schedules. The backing harmonies sound like they could’ve been pulled from an early NOFX album and the transitions are evocative, showing a touch of finesse that I can’t recall being there before. It’s a little more complex than the other songs both in it’s writing as well as music composition and has a level of precision that further serves notice that this act is trending in the right direction. This one is everything that modern pop/skate punk needs to be.

The evolution of this band is meticulous but it’s anything but sluggish. It can be heard from album to album, tangible results. That noticeable difference is the culmination of years of applying a steadfast DIY work ethic towards accomplishing a goal (the enormous load of talent doesn’t hurt either). Not only that, this album and the last track specifically, perfectly positions this prodigious punk act for a prime jumping off point. Almost announcing to the world that 2015 wasn’t a fluke and that this band is among the contenders for a top spot in the skate punk food chain. This is a definite turning point for this act and I can’t wait to see what’s coming around that corner!

4/5 Stars

FFO: NOFX; Lagwagon; None More Black


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