Attitude is plentiful with a good dose of feminist agenda in ARXX’s latest EP Daughters of Daughters – the title itself being perhaps a nod to the famous quote, “we are the daughters of the feminists who said, “You can be anything,” and we heard, “You have to be everything.” (Courtney Martin).
This notion of weighted pressure can be seen in the second track, ‘Intervention’, where vocalist Hannah Pidduck calls out for help: ‘‘Sister, Suffragette, are you proud? Have we got there yet?’’
This protest song acts as an open letter to the founders of the revolution; it seeks both reassurance and encouragement, while also admitting that there’s still a long way to go, even though we’ve come so far. ‘‘Is this world still a man’s world? And there still ain’t enough for a woman or a girl’’.
ARXX’s full throttle attitude tackles the same issues they are voicing, solving the unanswered questions from ‘Intervention’, in ‘Masters of Device’.
The final track on the EP brings everything together, offering a resolution to previous anxieties, ‘‘cuz you know I never felt so good, and I wanted more than I ever should’’.
‘Masters of Device’ showcases the sheer magnitude of their stylistic abilities through the unruly nature of the song; Hannah Pidduck juggles her vocal range, while Clara Townsend plays the record out with an unapologetically loud, yet elaborate instrumental. The effect of this is memorability, and ending the EP on arguably their strongest song, flaunts their potential; justifying themselves as ‘Masters of [their own] Device’.
The EP, however, offers a lot more than just angst. It deals with sensitive issues like political unrest (‘The Cat Song’), inequality and failed attempts at romance (‘Stuck on You’ and ‘Tired of You’), while channelling it all through their uniquely rambunctious sound. It’s the intertwining of emotions, which set apart this band from the run of the mill “anger-fuelled” garage rock prototype.
Although clearly influenced by their predecessors Deap Valley and The Runaways in tracks ‘Cat Song’ and ‘Moments at a Time’, ARXX do not simply imitate their influencers – rather they find their own individuality within them.
Drummer Clara Townsend mirrors the rambunctious garage rock attitude through her riotous rhythm, while Hannah Pidduck’s riffs, much like her vocals, range and dip in and out of heavy bass lines, juxtaposing her sometimes softer vocal.
This multi-dimensional layered sound, replaces the traditional flat “wall of noise” method (usually adopted for protest-like songs), giving the band a promising longevity and the artistry to rewrite conventionality, as we know it.
Featured Image Photography by Rosie Powell.
Words by Phoebe De Angelis.