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Milk Teeth - Go Away (Album Review)

Monday, 20 November 2017 Written by Alec Chillingworth

Photo: Nick Suchak/Anabasis Media

No messing. No umm-ing and ah-ing. Four months after their ‘Be Nice’ EP, bubblegum grungers Milk Teeth are back with a new box of fizzy treats in the form of ‘Go Away’.

As antagonistic as its title appears, though, this four-track release follows a similar course to ‘Be Nice’. Which is fine, because Milk Teeth have their sound down.

It’s a ‘90s-inspired, lairy take on alternative rock where Becky Blomfield’s sugar-coated tirades sprinkle her treacle-thick basslines. Here the band do more Milk Teethian things and, on occasion, unveil glimpses of…something else.

For much of its runtime, ‘Go Away’ is all about adding to their already stellar catalogue of slacker anthems. I Stabbed You First opens the EP with real character, chutzpah and fuck yeah-ness. Its chorus is simple, so simple, but hey, nobody else thought of it.

This is back-to-basics, straight from the garage rock, and it is wonderful. Milk Teeth find gold in the most straightforward of melodies, yanking the song back halfway through before the final build up permits drummer Oli Holbrook to add extra crunch.

Nearby Catfight, though, is the obvious highlight. It sounds like simpler times. It’s vintage Green Day, or the Offspring before they became a novelty act. Blomfield’s vocals are tongue-in-cheek but also encapsulate the gritty, often mundane realities of life for 20-somethings: “I’m drinking just because it’s there.”

Guitarist and co-vocalist Billy Hutton harmonises beautifully throughout the chorus. He’s more than just a shouty bastard (although he does that too) and also pulls several cheekily brilliant guitar solos out of nowhere. Man’s a keeper.

But, as with ‘Be Nice’ closer Hibernate, it’s the last song that’s the clincher here. Big Sky begins in a sombre mood before punching into a chorus that differentiates itself from Milk Teeth’s usual bag of tricks. It’s genuinely sad, with the guitars and grinding bass keeping everything in check before Blomfield moves into clambering, Pearl Jam-indebted vocals.

Despite initially reminding us of bands from the past, Milk Teeth are in fact unique. Nobody is doing what they’re doing to this high of a standard. They’ve got riffs, choruses, personality and a dollop of something else on the side. With only one full-length, ‘Vile Child’, under their collective belt, they are taking the piss with how good they are. Album two can’t come soon enough.  

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