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Album Review

Milk Teeth – Vile Child

Milk Teeth - Vile Child

As the band marches on, they’re only going to get better.

Label: Hopeless Records
Released: 29th January 2016

Rating: ★★★★★

‘Vile Child’ is Milk Teeth. Capturing the tension and chemistry of all four members before roughly grabbing a loose thread of influences and running with it, their lightening in a bottle debut is the perfect snapshot of who the band are.

From the opening roar of ‘Brickwork’, through the swaggering growl of ‘Burger Drop’ to ‘Leona’, all rugged expression, harrowing soar and beyond, ‘Vile Child’ is consistently yet astonishingly great.

The quirky sidesteps and stolen glances that defined the band’s earlier work as something special are still present but Milk Teeth have learnt how to deploy them with devastating accuracy. They’ve also got nastier.

Building on the foundations of ‘Sad Sack’, ‘Vile Child’ is bigger, rougher and more ambitious. ‘Brain Food’ is a stuttering yet relentless nailgun of a track while the spat frustration of ‘Get A Clue’ sees the band at their most terrifying. Even a rerecorded ‘Swear Jar (again)’ now dances under the band’s big ideas.

In amongst all the noisy brilliance, Milk Teeth find space to show off their darker side. Away from the battle to be heard, ‘Moon Wanderer’ deals with a more internal struggle lamenting, “I’ve given up on giving up”.  ‘Kabuki’ is just as fraught and just as pained yet stripped of the rest of the band, Becky Blomfield’s admissions are even starker. The bedroom confessionals would make for an uncomfortable listen if not for their arching poetry and hopeful shimmer.

‘Vile Child’ sees Milk Teeth all grown up. Retaining the confusion, the lust for life and the potent defiance that’s carried them this far under their own fire, this record marries charming DIY punk with an ambition to take it worldwide. Make no mistake; Milk Teeth aren’t part of any scene but their own. With a debut full of wonder, these vile children have come good. As the band marches on, they’re only going to get better. Ali Shutler