Be Nice represented the first step in what would arguably become the most important time of Milk Teeth’s career thus far, seeing where they could go with a more streamlined sound that embraced pop-punk tones to a greater degree while tightening their established grunge and ’90s alt-rock sound. The result was a remarkably concise EP that showed a band who could easily branch out into a sound that would be palatable for a far wider audience without having to compromise at all.
By comparison, Go Away feels like something of a sequel to that in more than just the insanely quick turnover time. It ultimately keeps the formula the same, but a bit darker, a bit more introspective overall, and overall just shy of the spark that made Be Nice a real lightning in a bottle release. This is still incredibly solid though, and serves as more of an assertion that Milk Teeth would be absolutely fine progressing with this sound, and that they’ve already hit a workable path for it.
That mainly comes in some deceptively simple songwriting, the primary weapon in Milk Teeth’s arsenal that’s running on top speed here thanks to Becky Blomfield’s self-analysis on tracks like I Stabbed You First and Nearby Catfight. They aren’t the most soul-bearing examples ever put to wax (there’s a certainly levity here that channels some very prominent punk snappiness), but these aren’t throwaway sentiments by any means, and with the decent hooks bolted onto each of the four tracks here, you’ve got an EP that hits hard in a way that manages to stick for much longer. It certainly helps that Milk Teeth have developed such a relentless command of melody via carving bass grooves and thick, jagged guitars, and while the threads of shoegaze that tie together Big Sky lack something of an immediate hit, there’s a quality that’s done well and manages to stand out independently.
As a band, Milk Teeth have already reached a stage where they have a sound that’s definitively theirs; Be Nice might have been the standout example, but Go Away advances it into deeper new areas that fill out any spaces that had been left. Taking both as equal pieces of a singular listen rather than independent entities, there’s a far richer core that time has brought out of Milk Teeth, and it’s seeing them stand up as one of the best rising bands the UK has to offer, even more so than before.
For fans of: Green Day, Citizen, Jimmy Eat World
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Go Away’ by Milk Teeth is out now on Roadrunner Records.