Rock music of the early 90’s found itself in a transitionary period. New Wave was ready to take a break for a few decades, Glam Metal was gasping its last breath while Kurt Cobain twisted the knife, and hip-hop was starting to gain chart positions normally held by pop and rock artists. Bands started fusing elements of punk rock, hardcore and metal, and starting creating new alternative rock genres. While never quite achieving the same degree of success as their contemporaries, Poster Children still hold a place as one of the pioneers in the post-punk/hardcore movement. After meeting in college in 1987, Rick Valentin and Rose Marshack (now married) partnered up with drummer Shannon Drew and started creating the songs that would become the demo tape for Poster Children. After releasing their debut album, Flower Power, on an indie label, the band signed with Reprise Records and created their classic sophomore album Daisychain Reaction, which is being given a vinyl re-release after years of being out-of-print.
Daisychain Reaction carries a different energy than their other albums and this may be due to the fact that is was produced by ubiquitous producer Steve Albini. The first track on the album “Dee” draws you in from the first with dark distorted guitar strums before Marshack’s droning vocals join in creating a melody that differentiates what they were doing from the hardcore movement. The first single from the album “If You See Kay” starts with a more pop-based guitar riff before Marshack comes in screaming and then steps into a more straight-ahead rock vocal with some intermittent screaming. This becomes a constant juxtaposition throughout the album, the balancing of alternative rock and hardcore in both the instrumentation and vocals. While most tracks on the album clock in around the three minute mark, some of the best tracks are the longer ones, the longest being “Space Gun,” a sprawling track which showcases their talents across multiple rock genres but ultimately encompasses the true spirit of early Nineties alternative rock. The closing track on album, “Where We Live”, is one of the most standout tracks on the album; the track feels like a more hardcore version of The Stone Roses as it is mostly made up of a droned-out vocal style over a repetitive drum beat that you can’t help but sway to before breaking into hard distorted guitars and screaming.
After listening to the tracks on Daisychain Reaction, its influence on bands that came after seems apparent, even if it was in an indirect way. Other post-hardcore bands like Deftones, Blenderhead and …You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead seem to take a similar approach to instrumentation and vocal styling to what Poster Children were doing in this particular time in their career. Despite having not released any new material since 2004, the band is still active and is doing a short tour to promote the re-release of Daisychain Reaction. The remastered reissue will include a 12-page retro fanzine and digital download card that will include three previously unreleased live and demo versions of songs from the album.
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