When I first decided to review Problem Daughter‘s Fits of Disorganized Boredom, I figured I could fudge the timeline a little and say something like, “Well, I wasn’t writing for a music web site when they released it and now they are putting it out on vinyl so it works out. Go fuck yourself, you judgmental piece of shit.” But then I actually looked at the original release date: February 24, 2016. Fuck. I was totally writing for that one turd at that time. Judge away. I am, in fact, the piece of shit.
Okay, so I slept on Problem Daughter for nine months (plus the other eight years they have been a band). Then I met Regan Ashton at Fest when he was filling in on guitar for Western Settings last year and totally fell in love. ANYWAY, Problem Daughter released Fits of Disorganized Boredom last February on Dying Scene Records, and now our buddies over at La Escalera Records are putting it on vinyl and I’m here to talk about it. Finally.
Fits of Disorganized Boredom is yet another album that says ‘fuck your industry standard of ten to twelve song full lengths; we are only doing eight songs and you’ll like it’. And they were right. I do like it. Every second of the 27-minute run time is great, from the angsty (but not at all about Winnie the Pooh and George Clooney starting a bluegrass band while on the run from the law) track “O Bother, Where Art Though?” to the depressingly catchy but awesomely titled “Dracula on a Budget”, this is classic dreary lyrics mixed with upbeat pop punk. Tracks like “My Other House is a Meth Lab” will have you singing along to “H-A-P-P-Y / Let’s celebrate for the recent loss of body weight, now” until you get to “And have you ever scored some meth? / and lit up the light bulb like the whole idea was a good one…” and you realize this song is about drug addiction. Fuck. But that “H-A-P-P-Y” part is so contagious! “Lousy Smarch Weather” references The Simpsons only in title, but actually takes a page (HA!) from Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita. Lyrical subject aside, musically this song also shines. The complete sudden tempo change about 45 or so seconds in makes it sound like a song inside a song before it picks back up a minute later.
“Liars” and “Splinters” are both great tracks, along with “Alda, Small Things” that just so happens to have one of the best music videos I’ve seen as of late, but what I really want to talk about is “Like a Dog”. Everyone that I have talked to who I made listen to this album or who found it on their own all seem to agree, this is THE song. A banger, tight, prime, dope, tits, bad, primo, choice, tops, or whatever other stupid fucking word you use to describe good shit. But beneath the catchy riff and infectious melody, is a pretty in-depth story that seems to be heavily influenced by author Franz Kafka and his buddy Max Brod. Kafka entrusted Brod with burning his writing after his death, but Brod couldn’t go through with it and ended up publishing them instead, one of which was titled “The Trial” in which the main character, K., has the last words “like a dog!” Shane Augustus verses are very Kafkaesque with, “I slit my wrist, just to watch the crimson flow / all the words that I wrote are pooling on the floor” while Regan is the Brod of the story with lines like “And it hurt as I thought, how could I respect wishes and just burn, take a walk, as it burned all his life work in a box, under suits, a padlock / His genius understood / His last words, ‘Like a dog’,” coming to terms with not doing what he was tasked to do and letting his dead friend down. Damn, dawg. Shit’s tight.
Now I’m questioning if every song on this album is in reference to some sort of book or author, but I’m almost done writing this and am lazy and don’t feel like redoing it all. Figure it out yourself. Instead, I’ll just end by saying this is an album that should have been on every single Album of the Year list last year. As it turns out, I put it at #19 because 2016 Kevin was a god damn idiot. Be better than 2016 Kevin and check this band out now!
Fits of Disorganized Boredom: 2016/2017
Vinyl Nerds! The reason we are doing this year and a half later review is because La Escalera Records has pressed just 100 of these guys on a lovely clear with blue splatter vinyl that are hand numbered. Last we checked there were only 6 left over at the La Escalera Distro. Get yours now, dummy.