Like it or not, first impressions mean a lot. When it comes to hearing a band for the first time, we, as people, have a tendency to judge them far too quickly. In regards to Milk Teeth, a couple of forgetful live outings in their formative years has left this writer feeling indifferent about the band as they have steadily grown in stature in recent years.
Last year’s debut full-length, ‘Vile Child’, was well-received by some, with others doubting the “hype”. Yet it came at a crossroads with guitarist Billy Hutton replacing Josh Bannister in the lead up to its release. Nevertheless, after a plethora of notable touring and festival spots, ‘Be Nice’ is Milk Teeth’s next crossroads as they make the jump to Roadrunner Records.
While past material has been inconsistent, ‘Be Nice’ sees a band full of confidence. Leadoff track ‘Owning Your Okayness’ is undoubtedly infectious. Its playful, slacker grunge-pop tone sees the quartet play to their pop sensibility strengths; catchy hooks aplenty.
‘Prism’ carries on the momentum with underpinned angst and swirling feedback complimenting Becky Blomfield’s convincing vocals. Whereas ‘Fight Skirt’ harks to the Milk Teeth of old with Blomfield’s clean vocals battling with distraught, unhinged shouting from Hutton. It’s a rumbling, gunge-fuelled onslaught yet it’s probably the weakest track here.
For its conclusion, ‘Be Nice’ offers one of the band’s best songs to date. ‘Hibernate’ eases in with Blomfield’s vulnerable voice as she pleads “don’t let me fuck it up”. The compelling build up nicely captures the emotional release the finale brings. With striking guitar chords, a thumping rhythm section and a stringent solo, it rounds off the EP on an effective note.
Whether you see it as a stop-gap release or a sign of things to come, ‘Be Nice’ is well worth your time, even for those who have doubted Milk Teeth in the past. Those first impressions are long forgotten, as the future for Milk Teeth is self-assured and bright.
‘Be Nice’ EP by Milk Teeth is released on 28th July on Roadrunner Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)