I love Problem Daughter. They’re one of those rare bands that come out of nowhere and slap you in the face with their art, daring you to doubt all the good music being made in this big old world. They come from Salt Lake City and their album Fits of Disorganized Boredom is one of the best things I’ve heard in a long time. It has the relentless hooks of Junior Battles, coupled with the more mature melodic punk stylings of The Flatliners, all fit into the loose mold of post-hardcore song structure– where songs have parts, but aren’t necessarily beholden to verse/chorus.
It’s exciting, volatile music that is immediately arresting because its weirdness relative to its genre. Hooks are everywhere, but they’re packed into an odd package of transitions and prominent bass and busy guitar work. First song, “O Bother, Where Art Thou?,” is one of the more traditionally structured of the bunch, and one of the best. Its chorus is massive and meaty and falls off the tongue as soon as it falls in the ears. “Alda, Small Things” has rushed vocal lines over electric guitars along with a busy bassline that works in tandem with the guitars. Gang vocals layer over the main line. Lyrics work themselves up into screams. It reminds me of Morning Glory, with all of their extravagances, steeped in the world of pop punk. “My Other House Is a Meth Lab” is one of the weirder tracks, transitioning into some light reggae at one point, before going back into some darker punk rock brooding and then into a big shout-along chorus. It’s a highlight on an album of highlights.
Crazy fun music is Problem Daughter’s game and I could probably dedicate time to what I like about each song and the review would run to novella length and no one would read it. So, I’m going to talk about the elephant in the room real quick, because the elephant is an incredible jam that stands as an instant classic. “Like a Dog.” Holy shit, “Like a Dog.” The song begins with a thumping bass line and sparse guitar tones before transitioning into the songs meaty riff. The drums keep things steady, but also set the tone of walking bravely toward transcendence. It’s almost the beat of a slow march. Undeniably the masterpiece of Fits of Disorganized of Boredom, “Like a Dog” encompasses dark, confessional lyrics put to ascending melodies and one of the finest choruses I’ve heard in a long time.
There’s thousands of cities out there, and there’s even more punks. These people, who believe in the power of DIY, the power of music, and most of all the power of community– these people are the ones making the art we consume and love. They’re centered around local scenes across the world. Check your backyard, you might have some pretty great stuff being born under the radar as we speak. This makes punk self-sustaining. It’s rock music put back into the hands of whoever wants to make it. And in Problem Daughter’s case, it’s wild and catchy and ambitious. But make no mistake, it all comes from somewhere.