HIDDEN GEMS “ALL ABOUT MILK” Hits Punk’s Sweet Spot By Eli Schoop · Illustration by Ben Hickey · February 07, 2024
Merch for this release:
Compact Disc (CD), Vinyl LP

Indie punk, post-punk, noise punk, dance-punk: For what seems like at least two generations, punk has been hyphenated into an endless pastiche of new sounds built upon the foundational style of malcontents and misanthropes. It’s rare to see anyone truly turn back the clock completely but MILK from Nagoya, Japan, demonstrate that the punk’s original spirit hasn’t been completely mined out.

There’s Minor Threat and MDC in MILK, but also the optimism of the Blue Hearts, and the Coneheads’s zany egg punk, too. And boy, can these guys shred. 2017’s ALL ABOUT MILK is a sheer assault by dudes who have nothing to prove but a whole lotta nasty riffs to showcase. The guitarist only known as Ina tunes his riffs to a surfer’s vibe, while dual bassists Taichi and Kimo lay down an absolutely killer bass set for the band to coast on.

ALL ABOUT MILK is a record that displays how locked-in MILK is as a band, with the ability to relentlessly kick out the jams, but also offer restraint when necessary, never becoming too rote or predictable. This kind of tightness, cohesion, and synchronicity hits a sweet spot only the most elite of punk bands can scratch, the kind that makes you want to air guitar or air drum along profusely. The propulsion created by MILK is reflected in their chanted lyrics, often sung in English. “My Say” unleashes sneering vocalist Bara who belts out “I WANT MY OWN SAY!” with a palpable fervor. The liberatory “OUTPUNK” is as succinct a manifesto as you can get, the bleeding heart of a band that leaves everything on the floor.

ALL ABOUT MILK is 17-and-a-half minutes of pure punk, all killer and no filler. It’s rare nowadays to hear music so simple be done so correctly, but MILK nails it, shouting at the top of their lungs, daring a mosh pit to start.

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