Sons And Daughters

This Gift

BY Alex MolotkowPublished Jan 28, 2008

Fans of Sons and Daughters’ debut EP, 2004’s Love the Cup, are bound to be disappointed. In the beginning, the Scottish foursome had the makings of a great rock’n’roll band: their songs were raw but nuanced, their guy/girl member split was a great (unintentional) gimmick and the lyrical trade-offs between lead singer Adele Bethel and guitarist Scott Paterson, a maddeningly cute (as in, aesthetically matched) couple, were really sexy. But Sons and Daughters have degenerated into a prim and polished conventional rock band whose "edgy” side seems like overcompensation for the bland music they produce. The songs on This Gift are more likely to soundtrack a primetime TV show about rich teenagers than to be played over the P.A. of a dive bar. However, for what it is, it isn’t bad. The problem is that the band seem to be clinging futilely to their rock image. I could take or leave most of the tracks on Join Us but I kept its single, "Darling,” on repeat for an hour; the song bears the least resemblance to anything the band have done before. It’s obvious that Sons and Daughters have made a bid for mainstream success; it would better suit their purposes to add more jangle overall and to do away with the phoney aggression. Bethel might not be the Scottish Karen O., but she could be the Scottish Gwen Stefani if she gave up the "bad girl” swagger and cultivated a more suitable image. Paterson’s looks could definitely gain the band a teenage girl, and gay boy, following. Strange as it seems, I can’t wait to hear Sons and Daughters’ first all-out pop album. As far as rock goes, I’m content to remember Love the Cup.

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