Rockin' Our Turntable: Milk At Midnight

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 11, 2008 6:45PM

2008_12_milk_at_midnight.jpgIt's apropos that Milk At Midnight be featured on this installment of Rockin' Our Turntable since their new album, Less Love More Acid, is only physically available on vinyl. (Don't worry, it comes with a data disc of both WAV and MP3 files, or you can download a copy from their label, so you can still enjoy it without lugging around a portable record player.)

Milk At Midnight experimented with mixing Appalachian mountain-man touches to thundering rock rhythms on their last EP, and the new album sees them taking that aesthetic and expanding it over a number of new songs. One of the most interesting things about the band is the inner conflict they seem to be constantly fighting when it comes to what the band's sounds should be. Singer-guitarist Danny Doom wants to writer classic rock epic protest songs, but the interplay between his and Rick Nitz's guitars creates tapestries that suck you in just as Eric Anderson's thundering drums threaten to bounce you right back out again. The band's sound shifts, darts, and defies pigeonholing. This is a band that would sound right in place touring econo in 1984 as they would opening ffor pearl Jam in 1994 or putting on a psychedelic lightshow at Metro in 2009.

So the band's instrumental sound is chimeric, with the primary sonic tether between tunes being the group's ability to graft memorable melodies onto craggy surfaces. The other connecting point is Doom's angry lyrics that do everything from castigating columnist / talking-head Bill Kristol to providing a bleak picture of the current world state in "Leaning Tower Of Astigmatism" and the mourning of fading memories in "This House We Built." Luckily, right near the end of the album's second side we get a brief glimmer of hope in the soaring choir underpinning "Why Don't You Go? (Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh!)" There are still no easy answers, even in these relatively sunny lyrics as Doom croons, "Let's say you wanna be in love | But you don't love anyone | If it's important to you | Then it's important to me too | So why don't you go? | You're never too old!" of course the very next song, the album closing and lyrically disorienting "Lost Highway," sinks you deep back into the maelstrom creating doubt and confusion while blanketing you in chaos ... but that's sort of the point. The sunshine is there if you really quint and search it out, but eventually you're eyes are going to tire and the light will temporarily slip from your vision again. It's the hope that keeps us going even as we stare wide-eyed at the horrors around us.

Milk At Midnight celebrates the release of their new album tomorrow, December 12, at The Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western, 10 p.m., $8, 21+