The first release from Milk Satellite comprised of Adam Atkinson (bass), Kurt Bokesch (drums), Clay Reid (guitar/vocals) is a demo quality EP entitled i am a dog. To be honest the quality is a bit less than that. Back when I was in high school in the mid ’90s my band would record our practice session with a tape recorder. The quality is about equal to that. These days young bands just pull out their cell phones and start recording. The recordings on I am a dog are extremely lo-fi. Luckily the band re-recorded some of the songs and released them on im sure it will pass just like everything. The recordings are still far from studio quality or something you would expect from a notable indie band but is at least a step in the right direction.
The band just started playing months ago and it’s pretty obvious after spending some time with “im sure it will pass just like everything.” I’ve heard much more sloppy playing but the band frequently steps out of the pocket. The songs are broad indie rock songs and don’t paint much of a unique sound for the band at this point. All that said the band has some inspired moments. I just think they are going to have to get a lot more experience and time under their belt if they hope to be in the same league as similar bands like The Strokes, Parquet Courts or Deerhunter.
The band opens up with “Lovely Lips.” It’s a solid song and the bassist steps up to the plate to help give the song a buoyant sound. The song sounds unequivocally “Indie” in a number of ways in which you could reference a myriad of bands.
“Cops” is a highlight amongst the batch. Reid gives one of his best vocal performances and the songs is one of the best written. It’s also mighty catchy. I really don't have much of an idea of what the lyrics are about but enjoyed how unique they are, “She has an amplifier in her throat /They can hear her from down the hall the static buzz / And her eyes are like mirrors that reveal cowards.” “Jellyfish Jr.” sounds very familiar in a number of ways. You can reference the guitar playing from Hum to Smashing Pumpkins to early Pavement.
“The Gray” is one of the more inventive songs which has some effective jagged guitar parts and rhythm sections. The band can’t always keep up with their ideas but most of it works. “Vasectomy” has some strong moments that work because of vocal harmonies while the closer “The Last Passenger Pigeon” is unnecessary.
The band is about where you would expect an indie rock band to be after playing together for a couple of months. My band had some moderate success about fifteen years ago and it took us a good three years of playing to find a unique sound. My point is the band is in the embryonic stage of their development and still have a lot of holes in their game. The good news is that time is on their side. Plenty of practice and dedication will lead to creative moments that are bound to help the band reach their potential. I hope to hear more soon.
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