Milque - Bone Dry

Well, the last 2 issues have seen the back page (of the printed version!) devoted if you like to a review of an album that I think is special. First it was Sophia, last time around it was Faith No More. Maybe it was pre-meditated on my behalf. Some people start reading at the back, or will check front and back only. So it’s in a prominent position. Whatever, this continues that little trend, because finally it’s here, the one I’ve been waiting for. The debut EP by Milque.

Ok, a quick recap. Issue 6 saw me drooling for 2 pages over the demo. Issue 8 saw the longest interview I’ve yet done with the band. And why? Cos I think they’re great. They’ve got something. Ok, so it’s a musical area I like, heavy but tuneful. Songs not effects and a great vocalist. What more reason do you need? You don’t.

So what we have here are 6 tracks. Target from the demo opens things, and what do you know, it’s made the transition of being one of the best songs of last year to being one of the best songs of this year so far. That means it’s good. Driven along by the rhythm section of Duncan and Kaye, the riffs cut in and out courtesy of Colin and Zoe brings the chorus that you’ll be singing second time round. She’s also singing it with a venom and ferocity that I missed on the demo, but still keeps everything under control. Very smart.

Deal With It has been altered somewhat to get rid of that Faith No More riff that was there, but that’s ok, cos unlike some bands who build an entire song around one riff, and therefore have zero if you remove that riff, the rest of the song is intact and still sounding great. Nightmare is the last of the demo tracks that have survived to this stage. It sounds slightly slower than the original which maybe reflects the mood of the song.

My Mind works overtime / Maybe I'm paranoid / My insecurity’s an all time high - Deal With It.

Still Goes On showcases the more melodic side of the band, and the ability to include a catchy hook in things to keep you interested. Dynamo is another of the new moments, "it's your lucky day" sings Zoe, and if you get this CD then it just might be. Possibly the heaviest song the band have yet recorded, it's not quite as immediate as say Target. But the thing I've found with this band is that there's a longevity to the songs. Some of them are catchy immediately, and there's sometimes a danger when that happens of the song rubbing off. But some 9 months after first hearing the demo, and I don’t know how many listens to it (put it like this, it was one of my most listened to tapes by any band last year), I couldn't wait to put this on and listen to those songs again. And some songs take a while to develop. A balance between those points is something that I think is good within a band. Final track on here is Shifter, which is another grower and ends a fine debut that scarily is only begining to hint at the quality on offer.

So, as I've been waiting a while for this, am I happy? Oh yeah. I have my criticism. Personally I’d have liked to have heard the guitar a bit higher in the mix. But it comes down to songs, and Milque have them. And this satisfies me that the demo wasn't a fluke. What we have is a band with talent. A band that can create songs that are immediate and also that take time to absorb and sink in. And a band that it seems are able and happy to try out some different things. Yep, I'm happy. Mind you, you lot could make me happier...

Honest, it’s a cliché, but if they were American .... they’d at least have the chance and coverage. I’d love to see and hear what they could do if they were given the time, resources and attention that some bands have. They’ve already got a bunch of new material written, and having heard a couple of the songs live, it’s possibly even better than everything here.

The media in this country would love you to believe they support UK bands. Right, well get writing to them. Demand that they tell you more about Milque. About Dog Toffee. About Shallow. About Dai Lo. About Medulla Nocte. About Lysis. About Sack Trick. About any UK band. If they go “who?” tell them, “exactly, you don’t know cos you don’t look and support.” Make sure that they have to do something. There’s no reason that Milque or any of the above mentioned bands, and more, shouldn’t be on the next Kerrang! cover CD, or the next killer Metal Hammer CD. No reason at all. Well apart from the reason that certain labels seemingly buy bands on or sponsor the CD. I mean, take a look at the labels of the bands on the next CD. See if you can spot a pattern emerging. But if the magazines bucked that trend, then the rest of the country could hear these bands. And the rest of the country deserves to and needs to. But people need to encourage them to do so. Encourage them to give up five tracks on their CD to new bands, upcoming bands. The bands that you haven’t already got the fucking CD by.

Sorry, off on a bit of a tangent again. Back to Milque. If you’ve heard the demo, then get this cos of the new songs on here, plus the chance to have those originals on CD. If you’ve not heard the demo, well here’s your introduction. Whichever way it is, just make sure that this sells out. Cos if you do that, then maybe the people that think they matter will maybe, just maybe, take notice.

And they’re doing a few gigs around the country at the moment. Check them out. Here endeth the sermon.

Available for £8.99 from Aniseed Records. Cheques made payable to D.J. Lane.

Aniseed, P.O. Box 1289, Wolverhampton, WV9 5XR.

Check out the official Milque site here

And you can check out a snippet of their music by going here and following the link to the Jukebox for an 80 second MP3 snippet.