After some significant changes in personnel in the last few years, seeing bassist/vocalist Becky Blomfield as the only remaining member from their last full-length, ‘Vile Child’, Milk Teeth‘s long-awaited second full-length album may bring about the feeling of a fresh start.
The new incarnation for their self-titled sophomore effort sees both Em Foster and Jack Kenny complete the line-up on guitar and drums respectively.
As we get straight into first gear with ‘Given Up’, it’s clear that Blomfield‘s vocals have always stood out among many other grunge revivalists. This song has a memorable chorus, as well as other hooks wrapping around your brain. The backing vocals and countermelodies offered by Foster that will re-appear in various places across the album add a firm layer of depth to things as well.
‘Flowers’ continues to offer up hook-laden power-pop; fans of 2017’s melodically rich ‘Be Nice’ and ‘Go Away’ EPs will certainly enjoy this.
‘Better’ is among the stand-out tracks, and serves as a reminder that Milk Teeth have always succeeded with their mid-tempo numbers. A powerful snarled chorus of “I deserve better” will resonate with many, and it’s a reminder of why there’s a lot of goodwill towards them. They’re certainly a band who wear their heart on their sleeve.
While songs like ‘Sharks’ and ‘Smoke’ perhaps don’t leave you with as much to take away from them, and previous rager ‘Stain’ could’ve easily made the cut, this album is still brimming with highlights which reveal themselves with repeat listens. ‘Medicine’ is one of the more mellow cuts, but still manages to offer up a reflective mood.
And ‘Destroyer’ may just be the best song to their name, reminiscent of Silverchair and full of angst, driven by a simple-but-effective chorus and some powerful backing screams. As well as a barbed-wire guitar solo, this also has a tense middle 8 that comes back sounding even more massive to wrap up this mammoth of a song.
‘Circles’ succeeds both in bringing a memorable chorus and punk energy, and ‘Wanna Be’ is a poignant way to close things out, with the personal lyrical narratives being front and centre, and the build-up at the end makes for a grand finish.
This is a welcome return from Stroud’s brightest hopes, and Milk Teeth‘s self-titled effort should see them endear themselves to many once again. When we’re all finally allowed back out of our homes, the anticipation to see them live again will very much be in the air.