Milk Music - Cruise Your Illusion - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Milk Music - Cruise Your Illusion

by Amy Putman Rating:8 Release Date:2013-04-02

I've had a nostalgic week. Someone asked me if I had MSN Messenger; I was given a packet of French Fries; I went into a cafe and they were playing OPM. It was like my teenagehood had turned back up and asked how the hell I ended up here. It was a surprising but pleasant feeling, like seeing your ex-bully has gone bald and been locked up, or capturing a unicorn and being allowed to tell it who to kill.

If this week was my former mini-goth self squinting moodily at the me of the now, then Milk Music are the spirit of the early 1990s alternative scene staring with sultry, judging glares at the musical world of 2013. They are like a souped-up version of everyone's old garagey, grungy, punky favourites. Their music is all that and then some: A ightly slurred, sullen-eyed youth yawp infused with frankness and beauty.

This is the final nail in the coffin of the reality-TV-grabbed, over-produced, pappy, bland, inoffensive slurry of acts that has dominated the charts in recent years. Nobody who hears this album can fail to feel the revolt rising. Once listened to, this album will re-write your brain, systematically discovering and erasing any tolerances to such soggy-crisp pap you have built up over the last decade of nauseating constant exposure. It will eliminate the enforced amnesia over what music is supposed to do for the soul and demonstrate anew that you are allowed to feel.

I'm not sure how Milk Music came to be, or how they arrived at this stage of worth on only their second record, but I'd like to believe they are inhuman. I see them as composite creatures made by some mad scientist living in an abandoned California half-pipe or Seattle warehouse, stealing little bits of musicians, from Dave Grohl's hair to King Tuff's fingers and Kim Salmon's (The Scientists) vocal tract, infusing them with Kurt Cobain's spunk and letting Nick Cave stir the vat with a giant spoon made from the frozen crystals of a million of Generation X's frustrated tears.

This is an amazing album with some truly wonderful tracks. I actually think it would be unfair of me to highlight any because there are none that lag or crack. This is an album of 12 equally well-crafted tracks. Any preference is purely subjective and I think you should simply listen and let your heart decide.

The album as a whole is well-balanced and flows nicely. I cannot recommend highly enough that you get to it ASAP. Imagine I'm a doctor and your spirit has gone boily and scabby and might fall off. This is your prescription. At some points you feel like you have heard it before, but I think you're recognising the essence, not the reduction; the butter, not the sauce.

All the above being true, there are a couple of minor criticisms. Some if it is a bit sticky, just a tad like they are trying too hard. True skill should be effortless, hiding the years and hours and blisters and blood and sweat and frustration of practice beneath a sheen of grace which makes it seem like a Greek god gave you a guitar yesterday, told you to give it a go and allowed the pure force of the muses to flow through you naturally and effortlessly. It should sound like you piss rainbows and fart dawns; like your lips are made of angel hearts and your entire being is wracked by a Promethean flame.

Nobody wants to hear the strain. We want to believe in demi-deities, not know that they, too, are humans who shit and yawn and get morning breath and work hard and slog for this to come. We know all that happens, but the album should be the dream, not the reveal; Oz, not the creep behind the curtain.

The second niggle is that they lack an extreme grab-point. This isn't the kind of album which is hardcore or rough, nor should it be, and I am far from advocating that they harden, deaden or amp-up their sound. Rather, I'm suggesting an album as generally great as this should have a moment which sticks out, a second of shaking you like a ragdoll. Milk Music's version of Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or Blur's 'Song Two'. Something indefinably memorable dressed up in the same shade and style as the rest of the record that pinches you awake and pulls you closer to them like a jerky robot arm. I'm certain their next album has potential to avoid these twinges of praise hesitation. Maybe they just need a bit more time.

Either way, get thee to this album stat. You need it; I needed it; the horrible world of 2013 needs it. This could be the start of a better world. Let's move on by looking back, grabbing the gold and using it to beat the silt monsters round the head. Let's keep a tiny kernel of that teenage rebel in a world where ideals have been forgotten and beauty is a luxury.Let's make Milk Music the anthem for those who refuse to become sick slugs addled by talent shows and poverty and hypocrisy.

Let Milk Music be a rallying point for people who demand to live. Fuck internet kittens and processed food a step away from Soylent Green. I'm smearing on the eye-cammo and fetching my boots.

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Great review Amy

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