Well, this is embarrassing. After a previous gap in the daily rollout of this list I resumed, with promises to steadily continue, and then my day job and personal obligations fucked those plans (again). So now here we are, launching Part 16 a full week after launching Part 15. Honestly, knowing what lies ahead of me this week in my day job, I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to add installments every day this week either. But I’d still like to forge ahead a little bit more before giving up altogether.
In case you’re coming here for the first time, all the previous installments for this list can be found here.
This is kind of a “Chosen by DGR” segment of the list. Both songs were on the set of recommendations he sent me, and on top of that Andy Synn reviewed (with praise) the records that included them. So, I paid extra attention to them and found them to be worthy additions.
Although Daughter Chaos was a new name last year, the presence of ex-members of Chris Amott’s Armageddon assured that their self-titled EP would get attention. However, as Andy wrote, “it would do the band a disservice to consider them just an extension of that project, as while there’s definitely an (early) Arch Enemy feel to some of the down-picking, string-skipping riffs and ecstatic, neo-classical soloing going on in tracks like ‘The Burning One’ and ‘Old World’, the trio deliver these familiar elements with such verve and vitality that they seem to take on a fresh new life of their own”. And to quote Andy again:
“Whether it’s the way in which they seem to know just when to switch things up within a song to keep your interest levels high (the transition into the catchy as hell, stop-start bridge in ‘The Burning One’, for example), or their ability to differentiate their songs (‘The Space Born’, for example, is by far the EP’s heaviest, darkest, and most intense track, while the eponymous ‘Daughter Chaos’ is the sharpest, hookiest, and most energetic number) while still remaining internally consistent and instantly recognisable, it’s clear that Daughter Chaos already have a carefully-honed and fine-tuned formula for success which should see them go very far indeed (and that’s without even mentioning killer closer ‘Void of Sacrifice’).
As I’ve learned, “The Burning One” (which is the track DGR recommended) really is catchy as hell, and I’m happy to give it a place on this list.
I was already quite familiar with Fawn Limbs‘ explosively bamboozling 2020 album Sleeper Vessels before seeing DGR’s recommendations for this list. However, I will say that it’s not the kind of album I would have immediately considered as a storehouse of candidates for “Most Infectious Songs”. “Catchy” really isn’t the word for the violent insanity this trans-Atlantic tech-grind trio cooked up on that record, even if (as Andy wrote) “its bastardised blend of squalling metallic noise, unsettling ambience, and distorted electronic effluent has the potential to throw a major wrench into the works when it comes to deciding what/who belongs on this year’s many ‘Best of…’ lists”.
And so, I had to give it another listen with this list in mind. Even DGR conceded that the music was more crushing than it was infectious, and in his recommendations he didn’t narrow the choices down to one song, instead saying any pick in the run from “Metrae” to “Haul These Bodies and Haul Them Aloof” would be a strong pick. The one I did pick was indeed in that run.
Against my initial instincts about Sleeper Vessels, there is indeed something intensely memorable about many of the tracks, even if perversely so. “The Vermin Massif“, which is my choice here, includes doses of skull-splitting, atonal jackhammering, but even the riotous blaring and strung-out screaming notes, the growling bass tones, and the mutated air-raid-siren sounds, which start quivering at the end, get under the skin.