UK band THE MILK MEN started it’s life back in 2010 following an initiative by Adam Norsworthy and Jamie Smy, and later on Mike Roberts and Lloyd Green came onboard to complete the line-up. They released their debut album “Full Phat” in 2016, and two years later the reappear with their second album “Gold Top”, this time around opting to release the album through fledgling UK label Skyfire Records.
Blues and blues rock are cited as the key genres of this band, a description that is rather accurate, at least as long as you don’t expect to hear material similar to Gary Moore’s classic ‘Still Got the Blues’ by this band. Blues is a lot more than songs of that nature, and this album showcase that quite well, and explore a lot of different aspects of the blues without ever becoming near the (in)famous hit song references.
Apart from one song that in certain passages reminds me ever so slightly of the late and great Alex Harvey, this is a production I’d place very much in a US tradition as far as the material is concerned. The good, old 50’s rock ‘n roll are given solid nods on multiple occasions, other cuts have been given something of a southern rock touch, and quite a few of the songs strikes me as having something of a country or Americana vibe to them as well. At times these tendencies are explored separately, and on a few occasions two or more facets are included into the totality of the song as well. More often the former than the latter though, and just about always with a sound and mood that gives me stronger associations to a US based band than to a European one at that.
Otherwise I note that the band are keen to create and explore moods and atmospheres with a light toned and playful general nature, kind of breaking the norm there as far as this type of music is concerned when executed in greater parts of an album. It works though, and it is entertaining while listening to the music sober on a Sunday evening, and presumably even more so after a beer or five on a later Saturday night at whatever local pub or live scene this band may perform at.
If you know, love and treasure the blues in all it’s shades, variations and guises, and tend to appreciate a band that seeks to avoid hitting the most cliched aspects of this kind of music, The Milk Men may well be a band you should investigate at some point. Both their albums have similar qualities, and this latest one is as good a place to start with this band as their first one.
My rating: 78/100
1. Shoot the Lights
2. Rag’n’Bone Lady
3. This Is the Last Time
4. The Operator
5. Give Me a Reason
7. Taking Control
8. Give Me Back My Wig
10. Gimme Some Blues
11. Hard Woman to Love