Ask me what type of music I like and I’ll profess to liking anything except trance and country. I may have to reform that statement though as the last years since I’ve been writing here on Killahbeez have seen me mention various bands with a certain country flavour. Technically, Communist Daughter is labelled as folk-rock, but really, what could be more folk than country? Ugh, I disgust myself, but whatever, bands like Communist Daughter (CD) are just that damn good and this certainly is not some Carrie Underwood shit anyway.
If you loved emo lyrics before stupid teenagers made it lame and lushly powerful instrumentals, then this band is for you. Hailing from teeny tiny St. Paul Minnesota, CD has a sound that I like to think reflects their environment. There’s a certain home-spun, dirty rawness to them that hints at dingy small-town bars and hard living – turns out that assumption is entirely correct.
At the core of this band is front-man, singer-songwriter Johnny Solomon. Originally a member in various local bands, Solomon seemed to be embarking on a promising music career with band Friends Like These, when he wandered onto a road that has swallowed many a bright talent. Solomon fell into a severe meth addiction and lost everything: his band, his friends, his ambitions. Through it all, somehow he kept writing. The result was a new band and a new album, Soundtrack to the End.
While working on that album, Solomon met vocalist Molly Moore. That fateful meeting changed his life as the two fell in love, but not before Solomon dedicated himself to getting clean. Solomon and CD’s resulting resurrection is covered in their new EP, Lions & Lambs. In the disc, released just this last July, chronicles the transition from Solomon’s despair in the throes of addiction, through his recovery process and into a hopeful new future with his now wife, Moore.
The lyrics in the 6 song album are poignant, heavy even, but balanced by uplifting pop melodies and Moore’s angelic harmonies. In interview after interview, certain lyrics seem to echo with listeners in particular. Lyrics like “Man, I hate this town, so I’m looking for the only way out. And the life I wanted years ago is maybe not the life I should’ve found.” and “I’m 31, or I’m 17, almost dead, but almost clean, and I wish I didn’t have to love you this way. Plenty of years and plenty of lies, the best ahead, but a few behind.” are so raw it hurts, but it’s a good pain. It’s a pain you can relate to. Solomon is a man who fell into hell and clawed his way back for love. What could be more classically rock than that?