It’s rare for a band to have supported the likes of You Me At Six, Deaf Havana, and Enter Shikari with barely any material to reap such worthwhile opportunities, but, with an already firm fanbase, it’s obvious that there’s something very special about Manchester newcomers, Hot Milk.
The quartet’s four-track debut EP, ‘Are You Feeling Alive?’, is full of upbeat pop-rock anthems guaranteed to instantly make your day just that little bit better.
A male/female vocal duo approach (akin to that of the currently inactive We Are The In Crowd) of Jim Shaw and Hannah Mee works perfectly, together combining catchy lyrics and delivering them with an angsty twist. Just what you want from a pop-rock record.
As a whole, the EP mixes strong rock melodies from the help of drummer Harry Deller and bassist Tom Paton, combined with poppy choruses, perhaps none more so than in ‘Take Your Jacket’. Simplistic lyrics (“Take your jacket out my car / So I can forget who you are”) transcend into a razor sharp hooks, and in doing so transform the song into the perfect sing-along tune that’ll be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
The titular track is a certain standout, full of funky, infectious beats, and undeniable similarities to something you’d hear conjured up by fellow local pop-rock stalwarts, The 1975. It also shows that there’s some effort of experimentation here, something that hopefully the band flex a little more on with what follows.
There’s nothing more satisfying than when a band who have clearly spent a lot of time behind-the-scenes perfecting their music, and suddenly burst onto the scene like they were born ready to take the spotlight. That’s what Hot Milk have done, and if we consider this EP a carton of the stuff, a full pint is going to get chugged once it arrives.