SPRCSS – Taste Like Daughter

3 out of 5

Label: My Pal God

Produced by: Jeff Zeigler (recorded by)

S Prcss’ remote composition approach – trading individual elements of a song back and forth until the whole track is complete – is narrowed down from three hands to two on what turned out to be their final release, the EP Taste Like Daughter, and the press from the time would seem to have predicted that finality, sounding as though things were forever in the process of breaking.

What exactly the writing / recording realities were, or the deeper details behind that press, Daughter’s six tracks are representative of something that might come from that: call-and-response guitar and bass; piecemeal, almost minimalist melodies that layer up then fall away; these are “simple” tracks in that they feel sort of bare, and sort of repetitive, but the complexity comes from a sense of tweaking: that you had bits and pieces that kept getting taped together, torn apart, and retaped. Musically, this is fascinating, and rather entrancing – a constant echo of burbles and strums that emerge as a riff and then shudder back into the background – but six tracks is probably the limit of this, as the material tends to run together.

Vocals are another melody to consider and are mostly treated similarly, but some of the talk-singing, and the cutesy song name and lyrics get a bit try hard – pushing for cleverness or profundity, drawing too much attention, which goes against the tip-toe vibe of the music. This tends to stratify things negatively: the music itself has such an experimental, challenging but catchy vibe to it – utterly striking – and then the lyrics sometimes make you roll your eyes. It’s an unfortunate combo.

While it would have been intriguing to see how S Prcss could have iterated on this sound, Taste Like Daughter is nonetheless a satisfying coda to their run: recognizable but willing to shake things up; some indulgent aspects balanced out by its layered, unique sound.