Spanning across the Washington cities of Mead, Colbert and Kelso, 20-year-old lead guitarist Landon Spencer, 23-year-old Cailin Spencer, 18-year-old Samuel McQuarrie, 20-year-old Ian McTamaney and 20-year-old James Ott have joined forces to create the band known as Spilt Milk. The band’s beginnings started in high school with one central focus – to be original. Their debut See You Around was recorded in London Bridge Studios in Shoreline, Washington. The project was produced by Julian Anderson and mastered by Geoff Ott. See You Around is an Americana rock album that draws inspiration from bands such as Dawes, Tom Petty, Jerry Jeff Walker, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Nathaniel Rateliffe. All the songs on the EP were written in various basements over the band’s senior year and recorded the following summer in 2019. Their style is unique and reflects each of the member’s personalities.
First up is the title to the EP, and it’s a jangly, rock and ramble tune with a full band song. A familiar “oom-pah” country beat with piano, warm bass and free from guitar sound that reminds me of Lou Reed from his Velvet Underground days. The vocal harmonies round out the band’s natural instrument, making this a highly likable number.
“Snakes in the Water” has even more great vocal harmonies and a stronger presence of the piano, accompanied by an old-style Hammond-like organ. This is a happy sounding tune with elements of pop and Americana folk and I think you’ll agree.
The third track is “Shoulder” and the band gets quiet on this tune. A low mellow organ, rim shot on the snare with a meaty bass drum thumping, and an acoustic guitar strumming somberly. The young singers’ harmonies are the real highlight, as they belt out the chorus with a lot of heart. I think there’s an old fashioned style with this one – you may hear some CCR or Dylan influence coming through here. Lastly there’s “On a Roll” and it features a more rocking edge. The drums are stronger, the vocals more forceful and the pairing of the band’s two main singers really shine through on this last number.
Overall, I think the entire band really play to their strengths from start to finish throughout the EP. This Washington band has a lot of great potential and has a lot of years ahead of them to prove it even more.
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