One of the UK’s most exciting prospects in modern punk continues their rise with a stellar EP.
Last year’s debut album, Vile Child, really hit the mark. Following its release, this Stroud four-piece enjoyed lengthy tours both home and abroad, perhaps most notably roaming the US with the likes of Citizen and Turnover. The success of Vile Child came with a price to pay – everybody wanted more. Having seen Milk Teeth live myself (three times) since the release of the album, I have found myself craving new material, which is a testament to the quality of the music that these guys are producing.
Fan’s calls were answered when the band launched their new single Owning Your Okayness, alongside the announcement of the then upcoming, Be Nice EP. This opening track is a simple-yet-punchy song. The verse trundles through a chord progression of the most basic nature – I don’t mean this in a pejorative way – this is punk, punk is simple and we love it for that. The chorus is full of venom and you can hear the spite coarse through the vocals of frontwoman Becky Blomfield. A catchy and bouncy inception to this release – it’s sure to be a mainstay in their setlist for a few years to come.
Prism is a more poised and, arguably, mature song. Bass-heavy, the verse is considerably more stripped back than what we heard in the previous song. Even when the guitars and backing vocals kick in for the chorus the dynamic is still a lot more melancholic – it’s a nice change of pace and a clear demonstration of the variety on offer from Milk Teeth. In fact, this is a notion that is true for every track on offer here. Prism is followed by Fight Skirt, my personal favourite track. I mentioned the venom in the chorus of Owning Your Okayness, amplify that twofold and you have the essence of Fight Skirt – the epitome of breakneck – you can just picture the circle pits…
The EP closes with Hibernate, ending the release on a solemn note. Arguably, it is the weakest track – by no means a bad song, it just feels slightly less enjoyable than the rest on offer. Self-reflective lyrics carry throughout the song, culminated with the, somewhat cliché plea of “don’t let me fuck it up”. Flashes of life are injected into the song when the vocals of guitarist, Billy Hutton explode alongside a kick on the distortion pedals – the pace remains and we are left in the same existential state as the piece’s authors.
Be Nice is an exhibition of what Milk Teeth are capable of which, as we already know, is a great deal. They have the ability and conscience to be able to flit between pulse-raising punk and mature, dark reflections on the shortcomings that we experience as a fundamentally flawed species. Provocative and explorative – Milk Teeth are on to something. Keep your eyes peeled and don’t sleep on this band.