Milk Maid’s sloppy lo-fi doesn’t leave much under the surface. Helmed by Martin Cohen, the Manchester collective play ultra-diffuse, highly concentrated songs that tend to rely more on aesthetic than melody (think Times New Viking’s earliest tracks). They trot out a range of tempos, glassy-eyed swing-rock ballads, straightforward garage burners, but when it’s all coated in this anti-production it’s rather hard to distinguish. Occasionally it amounts to something interesting – on a few of these tracks you can mentally estimate how far everyone is standing from the sole microphone based on the faint echoes emanating from the instruments – but for the most part these songs just aren’t good enough to be diamonds in the rough. At the end of the day, kinda-okay rock music is kinda-okay rock music – the recording quality (no matter how hipster friendly) can’t change that. Once Cohen’s talent exceeds his slapdash, it’ll be a different story.

By Luke Winkie

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