After numerous E.P. releases, Bristol based alt-rock newcomers Milk Teeth have finally unleashed their debut album upon the world. However, can the band live up to expectations this far down the line?
- Driveway Birthday
- Burger Drop
- Brain Food
- Swear Jar (Again)
- Get A Clue
- Moon Wanderer
- Crows Feet
- Cut You Up
Straight away, any worries are set at ease by the fantastic Brickwork, laying the foundations (heh) for the rest of the record with its no holds barred, distorted alt-rock style. From the outset, it’s clear that Milk Teeth aren’t messing around. Understated female vocals courtesy of bassist Becky, interlaced with screams from another male vocalist make for a fantastic contrast, creating one of the best opening tracks in recent memory. Driveway Birthday adds to the dynamics with a sleazy, fuzz-ridden intro before dropping to delicately picked, spaced out clean guitars backing gentle vocal lines from Becky. Packing another superb chorus, the songs use liberal use of minors amongst majors is inspired.
Burger Drop continues the 90’s odyssey, borrowing more than a little from Hole’s rulebook with grimy, bouncy palm muted guitars and a crooning vocal melody. Uniformly off-kilter, the track has the feel of a mid-90’s top ten hit all over it. One of the best tracks the album has to offer by far. The bass heavy Brain Food also makes claim to some of the best lyrics on the record, with its bass-heavy punk rock oriented sound creating one of the more speedy experiences found. A frantic mass of eclectic guitar frequencies dot themselves around the track’s verses in an atmospheric cacophony, as stickman Olly puts in an inspired tom-focused performance.
Having released the song several times in the past, the wonderfully titled Swear Jar (Again) delivers once more as its grunge-inspired intro gives way to more discordant alt-rock verses, providing ultimate simplicity through its rock-based exterior. Production here is as good as it gets throughout the album, lending the track an unsigned garage feel, leaving it understated in the best way possible. In summary, a fantastic track through and through.
As we reach the records halfway mark, we come to what is arguably the heaviest track the album has to offer. Get A Clue is the moment we catch a glimpse of Milk Teeth sans female vocals, and whilst it loses some of the depth contained in other tracks, the song offers all out aggression within its short running time. The venomous hardcore-like track features heavy distortion, pained male vocals and some of the best lyrics on the entire disc. Should anybody need a break from the more sedate, chilled out rock of the rest of the album, Get A Clue certainly does not disappoint.
Heading toward the records second half, Moon Wanderer opens with a soft bassline above reverberated guitars and spaced out vocals, returning us to business as usual with Becky back on vocals. The song smacks of stadium rock, from its sweeping choruses and epic guitar lines. Subtle hints of screamed vocals in the background stop the track from getting too predictable, as we find yet another single from the record. Moving on we have Kabuki, a hanting, eerily beautiful acoustic track with intertwining melodies introduced toward the songs latter half, capping it off gorgeously.
Keeping the stadium rock sound prevalent, Crows Feet features some of the most conventional rock on the album, throwing in subtle hints of bands like Weezer and The Hoosiers amongst the melodies presented. Our first instance of soft male vocals can be found on Leona, a more delicately constructed rock-masterpiece. Epic choruses are accompanied by subtle synth lines, overlaying raw, pained vocals to create a truly unique track. Our second punk-rock track comes courtesy of the aggressive, no holds barred Cut You Out, a spiritual sequel to Get A Clue. Finishing the record is the slow, fuzzed out rock of Sunbaby, as discordant guitars accompany pained, yelled male vocals to ring out the record.
In Vile Child, Milk Teeth have perfected their attempt at alternative rock. The simplicity counts for a lot throughout this twelve track album, as the band deliver on every aspect of catchy, memorable punk-rock infused alternative rock, writing some of the best choruses I’ve heard in years. The beautiful blend of softer female vocals and harsh male vocals creates a wonderful contrast, adding another dimension the already deceptively deep elements of the record. Vile Child is an early contender for on of the best albums to be released this year. In January. Imagine that.