Poster Children - Daisychain Reaction

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:7 Release Date:2016-09-30

Twenty-five years ago, Chicago underground heroes Poster Children released their third album Daisychain Reaction, with local legend Steve Albini at the boards. It became a minor sensation and then went missing for a while. Now it’s getting the big re-release treatment, with the requisite bonus songs and other goodies as per most reissues.

When this record first came out in 1991, grunge was arguably at its apex, and so the sound on this album (especially when you factor in Albini) is decidedly era-centric. Additionally, Poster Child’s songs mirror the soft/loud/soft/repeat format the Pixies used so brilliantly but for which Nirvana mistakenly gets the credit. What elevates Poster Children a bit from the generic grunge explosion is the breadth of their musicality. Funky treble riffs and staccato drumbeats propel single “If You See Kay,” which sounds like what might have come out of the imaginary sessions between The Minutemen and The Pixies. An alternative take on this song is one of the three bonus tracks.

Other highlights are “Where We Live,” a great song no matter what year it is. There are two alternative versions of this song that round out the bonus tracks. “Dee,” with feedback and thrash, starts things off, the droning, industrial weight of sound sets the table nicely for all that is to come. “Cancer” is a personal fave; a blender of intensity and clever lyrics with a smidge of pop accessibility almost totally buried in the noise. “Want It” reminds me of X’s “Year 1,” a balls-out sprint of guitar fury coupled with lyrics ripe with smarts and punk-ethos. “Carver” is fairly standard grunge that sounds a bit too much like Nirvana, which is by no means a bad thing.

If you’re a fan, you're probably already awaiting the release. If, however, you’re looking for a good throwback to the glory days of one of rock’s more celebrated eras, this might be quite a pleasant 90’s time capsule discovery.

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