The Milk Riot is a band from Oakland, CA that recently released Macros LIbre EP. I love that name. The songs on Macros Libre EP are rock songs with a good amount of attitude. The EP is also very raw and sounds like a full DIY “lets just press play” type recording. It sounds like a recording you would get if you were recording live at a rehearsal studio.
They open with “King Kong X 38 Special Dreams” and the first thing you hear is that mild hum you get when you plug a guitar into an amp. There is a build that leads to a good amount of distortion here which goes into this lead guitar part that sounds Jimi Hendrix inspired. The band jams for awhile and there is a breakdown with nothing but feedback and the song just kind of feels like it’s ending. They build back up but do this in a slower down tempo with mounds of distorted guitar.
Up next is “Flies” which is a little more mellow and clean and just builds with more intensity as it progresses. “Day of Reckoning” was the first highlight to my ears. This song is fast and has a three chord punk rock quality. The vocals are catchy and have a good amount of energy.
“Pirate Queen” is another winner and again has a punk rock quality. I was reminded of the Sex Pistols on this track. They get into a bit of metal mode on “Pililau” while “King Kong 2” is a slow burn like the opener.
As an engineer myself I would love to hear the band move from rehearsal studio lo-fi to recording studio lo-fi on their next release. For the most part these songs sound best recording live with some analog gear. You definitely don’t need high fidelity but I would say a lo-fi aesthetic you hear from bands like Ty Seagell, Metz, or even the now defunct Les Savy Fav is the mark they are looking for.
The band actually goes through a number of different styles - psychedelic hard rock, punk and even hints on metal. I liked everything they attempted but this variety has all the tell tale signs of a band that is still in the embryonic stage when it comes to finding a signature sound. I think this is a solid start and showcases a lot of potential. I look forward to hearing more from the band and where they go from here.
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