Daughter of Everything
The debut release of alt-rock group Vertical Scratchers is a confident collection of spunky tracks, thanks to the established music careers of members John Schmersal and Christian Beaulieu, both veterans of multiple indie punk acts.
Sneakily brief despite its fifteen tracks, Daughter of Everything never drags and remains refreshingly consistent.
Opener “Wait No Longer” kicks off in spirited fashion, a punky and pounding number coming in at just longer than a minute. The album continues strong with “Turn Me Out,” a more straightforward, lighthearted rock track.
Surprisingly, some of the best tracks are slower and melancholic.
“Pretend U Are Free” is a melodic love song with romantic harmonizing and beeping electronics. Elsewhere, “U Dug Us All” incorporates acoustic strumming and a darker tone for an album standout.
While some may critique the originality of Vertical Scratchers, songs like “Kingdom Come” and “These Plains” are too self-assured and head bobbing to toss away as commonplace. Rarely, like on the generic “Way Out,” does the imitative nature become noticeable.
One late, bizarre song is “My Only Want.” Funky and sensual, the band creatively takes on a Latin influence. Such inventiveness is necessary, as the record begins to falter near the end.
Unfortunately “Rainbows” and “The End,” make for a less than rousing finish. Both songs sound derivative of everything that’s come before.
Owing to the band members’ history in alt-rock, Daughter of Everything truly understands its strengths and weaknesses.
The brevity and steadiness throughout make for a fun, easy listen and hint at a bright future for Vertical Scratchers.
— Mac Gushanas
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