MILKY WAYS - Milky Ways (Alive/Total Energy)
Okay, first off, let me say that I really dig this album- it's 31 minutes of fun, catchy garage/psych rock. I do have minor issues with the ultra-lo-fi production but I'll get to that in a little while.
The Milky Ways hail from Montreal, Canada-my homeland, albeit about 2000 or so miles from my actual hometown-so I'm pleased that they've done us proud with some really wigged-out rock and roll. They are comprised of former members of several of Montreal's best r'n'r bands of the recent past:the late, lamented Spaceshits (great band - I remember meeting a couple of those guys back in the mid-90's ), the Sexareenos and the Del-Gators as well as Coco Khan, sister of soon-to-be-legendary King Khan (check out King Khan and the Barbeque Show now!) Their ace-in-the-hole is great tunes.
The album starts out with one of the best of those great tunes.It's called 'Shattered' and what it shares with the Stones song of the same name is a wicked groove (love it when a band can take an iconic song title and do justice to it in a new song-anyone wanna tackle a new "Beast of Burden "?) all ramshackle and danceable with an anthemic chorus:"You're Shattered, Oh Yeah, you're shattered!" "Guillotine", a few songs in, features Coco on vocals and is another fine composition, as is the epic which follows it, "Lecherous Parasite" (that's right- "You're a lecherous parasite 2x " is the chorus). That's pretty much the blueprint and a fine one it is, 'cept more of Coco's vocals would have been nice.
As for that one minor quibble: it's just that I figure if you're going to go this lo-fi, go all the way-anyone here heard Greg Prevost's teenage band the Tar Babies' single "Rejected at the High School Dance"? It's sonic mind-rape, clearly aspiring to the original 'Looking At You' or something and the fact that it was recorded in 1978 in a basement probably has something to do with that. As wonderful as the Mlky Ways are, they just aren't that demented-sounding and hence the production tends to just make things sound kinda muffled. Buried in there are awesome hooks and lots of wonderfully fuzzy axework, but they are buried at times. That said, it's a small complaint and I'll just hope for a little less dust on the needle next time the Milky Ways treat us to their special brand of fun. - Andrew Molloy
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