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Mostly No [VINYL]

Milk Maid Vinyl

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Milk Maid emerged from the Manchester music scene, lead by songwriter Martin Cohen – ex-bassist of Nine Black Alps. A DIY aesthetic has been a key component in the band’s ethos, with Cohen writing and recording everything in his flat.

Riding their own wave in the re-emergence of the Manchester music scene, Milk Maid has with their effortless creativity and swirling melodies ... Read more in Amazon's Milk Maid Store

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Product details

1. Dopamine
2. Do Right
3. Stir So Slow
4. Your Neck Around Mine
5. Bad Luck
6. New Plans
7. Summertime
8. Drag to Find
9. Pictures of Stone
10. Old Trick
11. No Goodbye

Product Description

BBC Review

Martin Cohen founded Milk Maid in 2009 as a solo project allowing him to flex his songwriter muscle away from Nine Black Alps, briefly hyped Mancunian alt-rock sorts for whom he played bass.

He’s since left the group, turning his focus to Milk Maid; second album Mostly No, like 2011 debut full-length Yucca, was recorded in his house. Once again, it makes great capital from textbook 90s American lo-fi manoeuvres, with a few shades of 80s UK indie-pop slung in.

Levels are near-perpetually in the red, probably thanks to Mostly No being mixed by former Test Icicles member and current indie-rock studio fave Rory Bratwell, with ear-bothering feedback sluicing through more than a few songs (Dopamine, Do Right and the terrific Summertime for three).

Guitar solos have the boys-and-their-toys abandon, if not the ability, of J Mascis in his late-80s Dinosaur Jr prime. When they step off the gas pedal, thickly strummed chords recall mid-90s Pavement in their confounding clash of noise and melody.

Guided By Voices, a consistent suggested influence on Yucca, and Yo La Tengo are floating around in there somewhere. And if this was 1985 and Milk Maid popped Your Neck Around Mine on a tape for Alan McGee, it’s a watertight bet that it would have swiftly become an early Creation Records single.

If it seems a tad stultifying to see this album reduced down to a checklist of oft-employed comparisons, apologies – but this does betray a shortcoming of the album. Cohen is clearly making the music he wants in the way he wants, but Milk Maid are releasing it into a world containing countless similar items old and new. This needn’t necessarily matter, but for many might mean the difference between a diverting record and an essential one.

Still, one comparison (the last, honest) could suggest a signpost for Milk Maid’s future. Old Trick and No Goodbye, the final two songs, have the fuzzy abandon of Graham Coxon’s first solo records after he left a more commercially-inclined band. Granted, Nine Black Alps were hardly on Blur’s scale, but Coxon seems content in his solo incarnation.

--Lou Thomas

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