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Album Review: Vile Child by Milk Teeth

Bristol based grunge act Milk Teeth release their debut album Vile Child on 29th January via Hopeless Records. After the release of two acclaimed EPs Smiling Politely (2013) and last year’s Sad Sack there’s plenty of buzz and expectation surrounding Milk Teeth. Undoubtedly one of the most exciting bands in the UK at the moment, they have a genuine potential that may just have been realised on Vile Child.

What you’ve got here is 12 brilliant tracks that transport you back to a time where grunge music was in its pomp and felt new and exciting. Although it’s a formula that is tried and tested Milk Teeth manage to inject enough energy and life into each track that it sounds fresh. The harder moments on the album are the ones that will really make you sit up and take notice, ‘Get A Clue’ has the basis of a grunge track yet is morphed into a different beast through brutally heavy guitars and screamed vocal. It’s an invigorating style that sends a shiver down the spine and gives the impression that you’re listening to something truly special.

Opener ‘Brickwork’ has many of the same qualities and as such it acts a formidable announcement. Take the delectable vocal of Becky Blomfield and team it up with a screamed vocal and you’re onto a real winner. The slower and more traditional grunge tracks are every bit as good, ‘Burger Drop’ is so infectious and instantaneous that it’ll bring you out in a beaming grin. You’d be forgiven for thinking of a Live Through This era Hole as there are many similarities and it’s every bit as good. ‘Brain Food’ is a storming track full of bluster and high energy that gets the blood pumping before the churning drone of ‘Swear Jar (again)’ excels as one of the finest tracks on Vile Child. It’s a fine example of how Milk Teeth not only excel in the heavier tracks but conversely also shine when the tempo is taken right down. ‘Moon Wanderer’ acts as a bridge between the two styles, connecting ‘Get A Clue’ and the phenomenal ‘Kabuki’ perfectly. Stripped back and heart wrenchingly beautiful it makes you fall in love with Milk Teeth that little bit more.

The energetic punk grunge of ‘Crows Feet’ is again reminiscent of Hole, while the double whammy of ‘Leona’ and ‘Cut You Up’ show Milk Teeth at their very best. Frantic and full of raw energy they show Milk Teeth off as more than just you’re run of the mill grunge revivalists. Taking elements of hardcore punk and emo to squew the grunge template it’s at moments like this that you get a reminder of how special music can be. Album closer ‘Sunbaby’ is a beast of track, taking sounds and structures from the preceding 11 tracks, there’s so much going on that words can’t quantify how good it is.

As debut albums go Vile Child is one of the very best. Formidable and striking throughout, there’s rarely a weak moment, with it all coming together in brilliant cohesion and confidence. Milk Teeth are going to be as huge as their sound.

AD Rating 9/10

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