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Husband and wife Jeffrey Clarke and Emily Frances have been fronting shows as Milk Lines for the past couple of years, apparently impressing people like fellow Torontonians Fucked Up along the way with a hodgepodge of country, rockabilly and jangly psychedelic rock. Parallels have already been drawn with Tim Presley’s White Fence project but having heard ‘Ceramic’, such lofty comparisons are generous in the extreme. Maybe there’s not enough critical distance here with Clarke and Frances being married, or maybe the pair have already started buying into the plaudits doled out by the local press. Whatever: this first LP is a messy, ramshackle exercise in self-indulgence that often seems to pursue 1960s lo-fi crapulence as an end unto itself at the expense of half-decent material.

‘Suicide Note’ and ‘Crib Death’ each harbour particularly twisted Johnny Cash-style narratives and might get fans of old-fashioned rock and roll tapping their toes, but listening to the rest of the record, the songs simply aren’t good enough to justify the overabundance of retro fetishism. 

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