Album Review: Daddy Issues, “Double Loser” EP

DoubleLoserDaddy Issues Double Loser EP
(Self Release – February 14, 2015)
(Alternative-Pop, Garage Rock)
Review by Rob Bockman

 

Greensboro quartet Daddy Issues released their first EP, Double Loser, in February, but perhaps should have waited a few months; there’s something sunny and rich about the record—a suitable Carolina summer record that’s drenched in oceanic imagery and clanging surf-rock. Now, at the peak of the season, it roars back with a new resonance, one born out of languorous heat and sleepy afternoons spent getting into trouble out of boredom.

There’s a hint of Ty Seagall or Deerhoof to Double Loser, especially on the swooping and surfy “So Hard,” but more than anything, it’s a function of Daddy Issues’ commitment to tight construction with effortless aplomb. There’s no slack on the EP, no dull spots that detract from the focused songwriting and slack-punk tempo of Daddy Issues’ output. The woozy “Sex on the Beach” nails a kind of uncanny pop with its descending vocals and ominous bass outro, with lyrics hinting at a mythic—or possibly monstrous—love story written in poetry like “[y]ou come out of the ocean/In the middle of the night/A creature of the salty brine.” It’s surf pop that’s more Amity than SoCal. “Lethal Dose,” a low-key sleeper that opens up through ethereal vocals and pallid and jangly guitar, matches the spirit of “Sex on the Beach” but varies up the vibe.

There’s a feminist tension to Daddy Issues’ aesthetic—a recontextualization of patriarchial imagery that extends beyond their self-aware moniker and the stereotypically midcentury feminine clutter on the cover to the hooky-playing anthem “Let’s Go to the Mall,” with its chorus of “Ooh/Let’s go to the mall/Make out in a bathroom stall/Steal some underwear/Fuck you, we don’t care.” It doesn’t really say anything new, per se, but there’s a playful & puckish punk-hoist to it that reoccurs throughout the record, with the punctuations of “I don’t care!” in “So Hard” and “Let’s Go to the Mall,” as though Daddy Issues is lasered in on turning the affectless placeholder statement of young angst into a rallying cry like first-wavers did, forty-odd years before it.

At four tracks—adding up to just under eleven minutes—Double Loser books, never overstaying its welcome, and Daddy Issues operates with an admirable richness within their narrow palette. Double Loser is a superb exemplar of the old adage that it takes a great deal of care to look this carefree, which might as well be painted on Daddy Issues’ drumkit.

Tracks to Watch: It’s four tracks long & they’re all worthwhile

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