Milk Bath – s/t LP (Different Kitchen Records / Naked Time Tapes / World of Hurt, 2020)

Milk Bath hail from Oakland, California. They are a three piece combo. They sound nothing like anything you would associate with Cleopatra’s oft-storied bathtime beauty regime. More like being waterboarded with sulphuric acid. Not that I’d recommend such a thing as morning wit sharpener of course – I’m not a total savage!

Information about the band seems to be somewhat sparse, which kind of adds to the mystery. Well, if there is a mystery. It’s probably a conscious choice to have little to no internet presence or something. These people were probably in other bands of some note (late edit after writing this: members of No///Se and Glass and Ashes – probably shoulda been obvious!). Dunno. I mean, I’m yet to even uncover any pictures of these fuckers.

Anyways, I’m supposed to be telling your asses what I make of this. I’ll say this has all the hall marks of that frantic style of punk rock / post-hardcore evinced by bands like Glass and Ashes or Fiya from the No Idea Records stable back in the day. Particularly though, I’m put in mind of Planes Mistaken for Stars on Fuck With Fire, and Up In Them Guts. There’s all those weird segues that intersperse the frenzied stompers with some kind of morbid Carcosa (series 1 of True Detective, which you must watch immediately if you’ve never bothered) creepy vibes.

There is also something going on here that, whilst sounding fuck all like them, reminds me a great deal of Baroness. I really can’t put my finger on why though. Which despite really bugging me, only adds to my enjoyment of this piece of savage work. This thing would be utterly unrelenting if it wasn’t for the aforementioned segues and the funereal hoe-downs that pepper this opus. If you want any additional current times references to help provide a bit of colour to the fast bits, think no further than Bothers s/t LP from last year on Dirt Cult Records or No///Se.

I feel oddly bereft of having much more to say about this LP beyond it’s left me feeling broadsided, trampled underhoof, and strangely exhausted, but in the most satisfying way. This warrants a Tony of Nurgle rating of 9/10. Have a crack on the bandcamp player below innit. And that artwork is serioyus nightmare material innit? Yeesh.

You can grab this on classic black vinyl from Different Kitchen Records in the UK and from World of Hurt in the US.

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, recently returned to Yorkshire and residing in Leeds (after close to a decade living in exile in Croydon and South East London). He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also several years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night "punk room" at Jilly's Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up - next event at Retro in Manchester on 07/09/2019. Apart from that, it's all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, occasionally skateboarding, always exhausted, often reading books with maps in the front.

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