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Beastmilk | ‘Climax’

It’s an album that’s had people buzzing with near universal adoration for months.

An album that rolls back the years to the dry ice of goth clubs, blending a black array of awesome influences into an almost flawless, rocking whole.

Enter Beastmilk, with the album of the year of 2013.

At first I had to ask if it was even metal – the answer, was of course not. Is it indie? Is it rock? Post punk? Goth?

That’s the best bit about it. It is all of the above, and so much more. It is pure atmosphere, pure rock ‘n’ roll, pure attitude and pure music.

Everyone hearing it will get something different, but here’s what it is for me. Billy Idol; The Cure; Joy Division; The Smiths; The Damned; Danzig; Siouxsie & The Banshees; Misfits – all that an so much more in one incideniary album of very obvious brilliance.

While the likes of In Solitude reach for those classics this year, Beastmilk come impossibly close to actually joining them.

There are a handful of albums I can hardly bear to write about for fear of doing violence to the actual music. This is one of them.

It is perfect.

Every song is impossibly full of hooks, drenched in the kind of bleak atmosphere you’d expect of early 80’s Sheffield, alive with the spirit of the night and drowned in a drunk pathos.

Picking a standout here is a academic, but if I had to, ‘Genocidal Crush’ sums up much of what is timeless about this: the hollow baritone vocals, post punk / new wave guitars, the amazing chorus, the desperate refrain, I could go on. The fact that it’s contained (like each of these tracks) within an aching three minute pop song only increases its brilliance.

‘Ghosts Out Of Focus’ has a guitar tone straight off The Cure’s ‘Wish’, and a forlorn atmosphere to go with it. ‘Nuclear Winter’ opens like Budgie beating ‘Into The Light’ off ‘JuJu’.

There is just something, and I cant put my finger on it, about Matt McNerney’s vocals. Even back to the start of his days in Code it was clear he had something unique. Fast forward to Hexvessel and the suspicion was confirmed. This however, to which he lends his unique tone, is just on another level.

The lyrics, as well as the vocals, are superb. There’s a level of mordant wit approaching even Pete Steele. ‘You Are Now Under Our Control’, ‘The Wind Blows Through Their Skulls’ – every one a winner.

There’s been a brilliant 80’s darkness revival creeping into music this year, what with Savages’ paen to Siouxsie Sioux, this, and the abovementioned In Solitude. Long may it continue.

Some albums come and go. Some make it big, some are destined to become hidden gems and cult classics. I suspect this is one of those. It isnt going to make it to the charts, or probably even get coverage for very long.

So it is incumbent upon you, as a fan of real music, to buy it this instant. It rocks like absolute fuck, and has a nightshade, prowling, downtown lust about it all that’s just laced with effortless and genuine cool like you never knew could be got on tape. Not this decade, anyway.

Utterly and unequivocally essential. Now.

5 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 08/12/13

  1. it’s on ye olde shoppinge liste.

  2. Dónal McBrien Says:

    That’s a deadly song.

  3. Black Shepherd Says:

    I went through “this is the shit” and now I’m in “the album isn’t quite all that”. But this may always turn around again. In either case, there’s not a song on it to compare, in my opinion, with this track from the EP:

    Now that’s 5/5, hands down.

  4. Interesting….

  5. Spot on with all those comparisons, though I’ve been picking up bits of The Skids in it too

  6. hmmmmm

  7. whiny garbage

  8. Well done on avoiding the ‘Got Milk?’ tagline pitfall. I’m still loving this. Vocals are nigh on perfect.

  9. alsvartr666 Says:

    I’ve been listening to this album for the past few days non stop. It’s a real return to classy, gothic post-punk. It’s almost like the album that The Damned could, and should have written, between ‘Machine Gun Etiquette’ and ‘Anything’. It’s filled with hooks!

  10. Really cool album. Savage review.

  11. I have fallen head over heels in love with this band.

  12. wizardinblack Says:

    Anti-Climax and ultimately forgettable yet decently made hard rock record . 5/5 for this is a joke. 3.8 at best.

  13. Miotal Trom Says:

    Will pick this up alright but I’m still holding out judgement. I am slowly coming around to it, but it really didn’t jump out at me as all that special at first. Repeated listens are slowly but surely revealing more of what is hidden within it though, admittedly. I was always far more of a metalhead than a goth though…

  14. Lasted 3 songs into this this morning. Pop-Punk with goth overtones, could hear none of the sparseness, atmosphere or beauty implied by the band comparisons in the review.

    I’d see Big Cheese giving this 5 out of 5. Not Metalireland.

  15. You guys are drunk.

  16. Loved the EP, looking forward to hearing the album! Excellent review and another reason why I appreciate MI…eclectic content!

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