Although Warmer Milks? most recent full-length had me interested right from the start when the new review pile arrived, I?m still not quite sure what to make of it. Put out by Sweden?s reliable Release the Bat label, ?Let Your Friends In? offers two tracks of what could be called Psych-Death-Grunge, a mixture I find intiguing at some times, boring at others.
Warmer Milks is a collective with founder Michael Turner as the only regular band member. They have put out an album on Troubleman Unlimited and another, ?Soft Walks?, announced for March 08 on Animal Disguise. For ?Let Your Friends In? Turner has teamed up with Greg Backus, Shawn David McMillen and Paul Oldham (sound engineer, Bonny Prince Billy sibling and collaborator) and hit Oldham?s studio to record the two long tracks that this release is made up of.
Of these, the first piece, ?The Ripple Children/The Jaunting? clearly takes the prize. Introducing itself to the listener with a sound collage of B-movie screams, this piece has evolved into a bombastic stomper of heavy riffing and fuzzy guitars (in fact the track is very close to Mudhoney around ?Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge?) once it is over, after about 15 minutes. This is where Oldham uses his ?Backside Swamp Guitar? to maximum wahwahing effect. Warmer Milks intriguingly combine this rather well-established grunge sound with more tantalized screaming, no longer B-movieesque but still haunting enough and definitely closer to death metal than to anything else. I have to admit that this blend of grunge instrumentation and death metal vocals is new to me and I?m fascinated by it.
The second track is a different matter, unfortunately. At a little more than 16 minutes, ?The Wanderer? is about the same length, but it definitely feels MUCH longer. Shuffling along a repetitive bass line, this track does quite what its title suggests. Where the first track was thick and densely arranged, ?The Wanderer? is sparse, creating menacing atmospheres with taped sounds, screaming guitar noises, wordless howls and subdued murmurs. Sadly, though, these atmospheres fail to pull me in. Instead, this ?Wanderer? drifts about rather pointlessly. In the end, the calculation, for me at least, is pretty simple: 8 for the first track, 4 for the second, and you end up with 6/10 -- Jan-Arne Sohns (29 January, 2008)