From Mclusky to Islet and Kutosis, Cardiff has long been home to a clutch of tinnitus inducing outfits with their own sometimes bizarre, often prescient and mostly witty take on the world.
Now add to their number power-trio The Milk Race forming in 2011 made up of previously unemployed members(Chris Warlow(vox/guitars), Chris Sklav(drummer), Mike Carter(bassist) of now deceased but not forgotten bands like The International Karate Plus, Mo-Ho-Bish- O-pi, Martini Henri rifles and Heck. Coming together around a shared love of Fugazi,Sonic Youth, and The Misfits they have learned wisely from their past. The Milk Race’s debut Ep is tighter than George Osbourne’s budget, and wastes little production faff in hitting you repeatedly right between the solar plexus, and making your head spin with a quick-smart brand of twisted noise pop.
Opener ‘Identify’ shows a belligerent complexity: the stinging surgical guitar riff is threaded through elastic baselines notes that bounce across militaristic drum patterns.That usher in the vocals’ violent sardonic take on the misrepresentation of television news presented in tabloid precision(“You pick and chose corrupt the news/ It all gets frozen sideways”) interrupted by drummer Chris Sklav’s distorted retorts: this is a marvelous Wire-esque sparring of voice and rhythm.
But it’s ‘Bonjour MF’ that’s the EP’s still twitching centrepiece. ‘Ignore the western union’ sneers Chris Warlow, in a phrase that could easily be borrowed from a conspiracy theory video on youtube. It’s a solid repeated command among a tangle of Mike Carter’s bounding bass and Sklav’s tumbling drums of the kind that frogmarch across city centre pavements. It reminds one of the defiant sound of The Dead Kennedys and the caustic sideways post-punk wit of Les Savy Fav.
While closer ‘The Rise and Fall of the Indian Rope Trick” fires up the failing engines clambers into the deeper recesses of a situation gone very bad. Letting up for the first bit of respite in its second minute for ghostly walkie-talkie rumblings. Then firing into a awesome crushing barrage of drums with Chris Warlow spewing nightmarish stream of surreal B-Movie imagery.
The Milk Race are staking a claim as one of the most refreshing of the new noises from Wales’ capital, here”s hoping they win a race or two and Thatch doesn’t steal the white stuff in their cups!