Daddy Don’t does not want to waste your time. Drummer Maggie Brannon and guitarist Charice Starr find a catchy melody and good beat, tell their story, get in, and get out. None of the 15 songs on the duo’s self-titled record last longer than two and a half minutes, and most of them fall well under that. You may or may not get the verse/chorus/verse treatment in a song, but if you do, no one part will stick around for long.
It’s a good strategy for the kind of poppy, head-bopping tunes and insouciant attitude Daddy Don’t delivers. Acerbic wit is peppered throughout the noir-ish subject matter Brannon and Starr delve into, such as gassing up the car and grabbing a gun (“Life of Crime”), a psycho stalker (“Sprocket”), and the self-explanatory punk blast of “Stab You With My Knife.” There is also a quizzically comic song from the point of view of a “Lady Bass,” and a clever kiss-off based on an old Greek play, “Oedipussy.” As dramatic and funny as many of the songs can be, however, running throughout the album are themes of a more personal, existential nature—troubled romance, mental breakdown, and dental anxiety. Starr handles lead vocal duties, and her sweet-natured voice lends itself well to both the silly and serious, occasionally punctuated by Brannon’s lower-register background vocals. Fittingly, “The Charice and Maggie Show” might be as good a representation as any of Daddy Don’t, with its easy going rhythm and sweet-and-sour lyrics: “She wants sunshine and I want funshine/Breaking hearts and breaking arms at parties/She smells flowers and I smell bullshit/’Cause it is easy as it looks to be free.”