Milk Teeth’s forthcoming EP Sad Sack (due out 26 January) opens with the track Vitamins. Feedback gives way to a guitar sound instantly reminiscent of bands like The Breeders, and Becky’s cool vocals tie the whole thing together; both emphasizing the 90s influences and asserting the band’s singular take on their predecessors. Melon Blade follows similarly, while the leading single Linda showcases the interplay of the two vocalists, Becky and Josh.
It seems as though Linda attempts to subvert the preconception that a boy/girl shared lead vocal is necessarily sweet or possessed of some cutesy interplay, but it ultimately falls short. The two voices sound too disparate and rather than avoid coming together in too twee a manner, they fail to converge at any point. The two border on competition rather than any sort of juxtaposition. This serves the text of the song and its vitriol but in an obvious manner.
If Vitamins and Melon Blade make apparent the 90s influences, Linda is an obvious nod to classic punk interpreted strictly yet with attempts made to imbue it with their own developing sound. There band are deft and certainly clever; this tracks forgoes that for a more straightforward approach at odds with itself. The track isn’t bad but more indicative of a repertoire of elements the band intends to use than fully crystallized as of yet.
The vocal dynamic is better realized on the closing track, Trampoline, which veers effortlessly from plaintive to dreamlike without losing its edge. The juxtaposition isn’t needlessly divergent and the two weave around one another without getting too theatrical about it. The track serves as a summary of the preceding tracks and one hopes it is an indication of things to come.
With a heavy tour schedule for 2015, it shouldn’t be long before we’re hearing more from the Stroud-based four piece.