Single Review: Asphodels' 'Milk'
A band who most certainly haven't forgotten about the Electro Harmonix Big Muff, Asphodels create a gloomy alternative rock outlook on modern music.
Too thorough to be grunge, too alt rock to be shoegaze; Asphodels' new single 'Milk', sits happily on the fence somewhere in between those two genres while being something else entirely.
Since the 2017 release of 'Cherished', Asphodels have been paving their own way to success, quite literally. The band are signed to their bassist Ryan Oldfield's own label Take Me Somewhere Nice, and Oldfield also produced 'Milk' himself, which is massively impressive.
Talk about being a jack of all trades.
'Milk' has quite a gloomy, on-edge tone to the whole song. The guitar is haunting and crafted to linger in your ears through the verses, feasting off the distorted fuzz. The vocals are sung in an almost necromantic way, darkening the song and droning through the verses. As if to throw us a curveball however, they also seem to sound a little bit pop-punk influenced, donning a trademark whine that the likes of Patrick Stump, Gerard Way, Tyson Ritter and Brain Molko share.
“Does this feel right?”
The vocals seem to complain and fret about someone, expressing frustration and loss.
'If that's what you want'
These lyrics are whined down the microphone, screaming in nothing but desperation and hopelessness. Most of us can relate to a time when we've been a slave to a breakup, when we just feel downtrodden and angry. This song seems to capture that feeling in the melancholy nature of the lyrics, eerie instrumentals and heavy, desperate chorus.
To me, 'Milk' differs a lot from Asphodels' first release 'Cherished'. Where 'Cherished' was a lot warmer and guitar-focussed, 'Milk' seems to be more lonely and glum. I'd even say it slightly shines into the post-punk genre, sporting a lot of modern punk's glossy, well-produced elements.
No crackles or string buzzing get caught in recording anymore, no weak, echoing guitar parts which just don't quite hit the spot on the track when it's been recorded in a garage with egg box insulating.
This track is a perfect example of those things evolving and production improving in modern music.
All in all 'Milk' is an extremely well-crafted track, showing Asphodels in their most dramatic light yet. The band continue to gain fans and international popularity, with every release, and I have no doubt that this single will also continue to do exactly that for these boys.