A different breed
Punk has been around for a while now. It’s sometimes easy to forget that at one point, it was just a different breed of rock, played with a more furious mood. Boss’ Daughter is a new band that builds the feel of classic punk, the kind that emerged as a particularly manic offshoot of pop and rock music.
“I wasn’t trying to write catchy-ass songs,” said guitarist-vocalist Chris Fox. “They sound how they sound.”
“Yeah, you were,” countered bassist Danny Paul.
“We just want to achieve maximum party time,” said drummer Jamie Locks, while holding a beer with one hand and trying to light Fox’s jeans on fire with the other.
Whether Fox merely feigns indifference to his music’s melodic, upbeat elements, or if he’s truly disinterested in labeling his sound, there’s no denying the catchiness of Boss’ Daughter’s songs. Pop-punk in the early days didn’t have to reach very far, because the genres have always had more in common than either would prefer to let on.
Boss’ Daughter is a collection of musicians who could easily choose to nurse big egos, but prefer not to. Anyone familiar with the Reno area’s punk scene will recognize names like Vampirates and Beercan. A select, but devoted few will remember the name Blorgalakt. Despite the infamy of these bands, the members of Boss’ Daughters laugh when offered the title of “supergroup.”
To a fan on the outside, it may seem like the members were handpicked to form a trio that would be the cream of the crop. Locks is a veteran punk drummer, providing the heavy pounding, the adrenaline-pumping speed, and the carefree attitude that he displays in Beercan. Paul adds a layer of intricacy to the sound with his effortless bass scales, a talent he practiced in the heavy math-rock of Blorgalakt. Fox’s gravelly voice and brazen guitar playing are uniquely his own, owing in no small part to his work with Vampirates and his own solo project.
To Fox, Locks and Paul, the formation of the band was a bit more simple, although not entirely casual. They knew of each other, were fans of each others’ music, and just decided to start playing together to see how they would meld.
“I just called them up and said, ’Hey, you wanna jam?’” said Fox. “Who knows how many times I’ve said that to people, but this time we actually did it.”
Fox writes the music, with all of the earliest material coming from his solo project. He says he usually writes songs about drinking and depression, which might come as a surprise to the casual listener of Boss’ Daughter. Far from being moody and downtrodden, the songs are upbeat and fun, perhaps as a counterbalance to the heavier emotions that go into creating them.
Much like Fox’s attitude towards his own music, the songs themselves seem to be at a tense stand-off between feeling and cynicism. With song titles such as “Drunken Smiles,” “Alone,” “Stupid Song” and “Embrace,” the music directs a lot of its blows inward, refusing to take itself too seriously, despite its innate sensitivity. It’s a bit like the balance of mood within Boss’ Daughter’s genre sensibility. It’s punk that has a pop heart, yet there’s a distinct shame and rejection of it’s own desire to be accessible.
Boss’ Daughter hopes to record a full-length soon, using all the material they’ve compiled. For only playing together for two months, they’ve already worked up an impressive catalog. Then, they plan to hit the road.
“Hopefully, we won’t break up before then,” said Fox.