Milk Teeth – ‘Vile Child’ [Review]

Milk Teeth - Vile Child

We’re all familiar with the feeling of being on the edge of falling apart. Struggling to get by, yet somehow keeping it together.

Milk Teeth’s music is the sonic embodiment of that state of mind.

Vile Child is a fucking challenging album. Imagine a mega-jam involving pretty much every even remotely grunge-related band from the ’90s, the chaos controlled only by an insistence that the results groove as hard as possible. Do it, right now.

Everyone from Nirvana and Foo Fighters to Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, Hole, and Smashing Pumpkins.

In one room.

If it were possible for that jam to take place, the end result would sound like Vile Child.

In today’s surgically clean music industry, where quantisation and auto-tune rule over unfiltered human emotion, it’s easy to forget that before digital culture really kicked off, bands like Milk Teeth were everywhere. Unsanitised, raw, and all the more powerful for it. You could never doubt for a moment that those bands meant it. You just weren’t given the option.

Songs like the fast, frantic, and deprivation-driven Brain Food; the unsettling Sonic Youth-inspired Swear Jar, which sets up the brain-breakingly heavy Get A Clue; the sky-sweeping Soundgarden-on-crack three-and-a-half-minute epic Moon Wanderer, and the brutally cathartic Leona may not fit neatly into a tidy pigeonhole, but that’s no bad thing. Variety is the spice of life – and Vile Child is a full-bodied buffet of spicy tracks. More than anything, though, it’s fucking honest.

The most obvious point that potential Milk Teeth detractors are likely to make is that Vile Child does look backward as much as forward. But then again, our culture is obsessed with rehashing the nicest and safest elements of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Nicey-nicey jangle-pop, disco, and synth-pop are all accepted, despite a total lack of original input – and Vile Child goes way beyond clone territory.

This is the sound of a band mashing their influences together like balls of Play-Doh, just to see what happens. Vile Child‘s roots may be familiar, but the branches and leaves are uniquely warped. It’s also a genuine musical melting pot – the kind of album this blog is all about.

Fair play.

TMMP RATING: 92% (Essential Listening!)

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Vile Child drops January 29.

Milk Teeth on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted on 26 January 2016

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