As a debut record Vile Child is simply outstanding, providing a perfect blend of masterfully crafted melodies with visceral guitars this record is both incredibly catchy and viciously abrasive. Severely upping their game even more from their highly regarded previous work Milk Teeth set an example for modern rock music.
Milk teeth are the band you’re going to be spending the next few weeks struggling to get out of your head. With the release of their debut full length album, Vile Child, the Stroud four piece bring a record dripping in distortion soaked melodies and contagiously catchy choruses to your eagerly awaiting ear drums. After last year’s barnstorming e.p, Sad Sack, the expectation and excitement of hearing just what this band could do on a full length was insurmountable. It’s incredibly pleasing to hear that Milk Teeth have clearly upped their game from their already incredibly well received previous efforts. Vile Child takes what the group were doing and just builds on it with spades of masterfully crafted song writing and an undeniable creative spark.
The record opens with lead single Brickwork and without giving you time to lift your finger from the play button your quickly hooked with just one of the records many mesmerising choruses. This groups ability to write incredible vocal lines should not be understated some of the melodies on this album can go toe to toe with just about anyone. It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that most bands could go their entire careers without ever dreaming of writing this many big choruses, this is Weezer in their pomp level stuff right here. Just try listening to the song Burger Drop and not end up singing it for the next few days, go on I dare you. Lead singer Becky Blomfield’s delightfully melodious voice really adds to this albums appeal and is counterbalanced perfectly by guitarist Josh Bannisters wretched lecherous screams. His maliciously spiteful sounding roar provides this record with a real sense of dynamism along with a real abrasive edge. This is epitomised with the track Get a Clue where Bannister really lets loose his gut wrenching vocals, barking the line “you’re a product of the human zoo” with a real sense of urgency and aggression. The interplay between the two vocalists on Vile Child is extremely well worked as well as providing a uniquely original take on the twin vocals formula.
Musically this album is a lot more diverse than the groups two ep’s showcasing Milk Teeth’s ability to change up their sound whilst incorporating ideas and influences from a variety of places. Vile Child also still keeps the band sounding raw and never comes close to compromising the groups raucous sound with modern studio sheen. This record is grimy, covered in a filthy layer of fuzzy distorted guitars accompanied by a thunderous bass sound and a tenaciously beaten drum kit. It may sound cliché but this album sounds real, you feel like you’re listening to a proper band and not some cynically constructed soulless slop in the guise of a rock music.
Mammoth slabs of distortion pull you into a swirling pool of noise not stopping util you’ve been completely battered into submission. These grungy guitar tones blended with the aforementioned infectiously catchy melodies really help create an extremely dynamic energy. Strong elements of groove can also be found throughout this album with tracks like Swear Jar forcing you into uncontrollable head bobbing action whilst tracks like Crows Feet have a real bouncy summer anthem feel. With a lot of tracks you can certainly hear influence being pulled from artists such as Sonic Youth with oddball eccentricities being littered throughout the album giving off a more quirky and different vibe. However Vile Child isn’t just all about trying to batter you with monster guitar riffs and driving punk rock rhythms there are many instances of beautifully crafted introspective more laid back tracks to be found on Vile Child. The song Kabuki for example allows Blomfield to showcase her obvious vocal talent, backed by a lone acoustic guitar she provides a soothing melody her voice for once isolated from the anarchic visceral punch of the distorted guitars. You can hear the more expansive side to Milk Teeth too later on into the record. Album closer Sunbaby goes from softly strummed clean guitars to a brutally crushing chorus only to conclude with a lush overwhelming post rock style climax ending the record in style.
Vile Child is almost hard to accept as a young band’s debut record as it already feels like a classic. Milk Teeth have taken from the sounds of the late 90’s and early noughties and reinvigorated them with a freshly unique twist. With Vile Child the band have carved out a real identity for themselves blending a mixture of grunge, punk and early emo to create something both nostalgic and original. For anyone seeking out a creative, passionate and exciting rock band then Milk Teeth’s debut release should be not be something to be missed. People fed up of the recycled bland rock music being spoon-fed to them by the mainstream media owe it to themselves to hear this record. It’s impossible to predict anything but a hugely exciting year for this young band and if this album is a statement of intent then the future can only hold good things for Milk Teeth.