Stretching, yawning and yelping like a teenager with growing pains, Milk Teeth’s earliest days were defined by their youth. Storming straight out of college with their ‘Smiling Politely’ EP and swiftly following it up with one of 2015’s finest short-players in ‘Sad Sack’, they proved themselves as masters of grungy, moody melancholy, backing it up with a deranged live show like no other.
Twirling into view like an overexcited child after one-too-many Panda Pops, ‘Vile Child’ picks up the baton laid by those early EPs and charges straight to the head of the pack. While ‘Brickwork’ kicks things off with a bounding pace, though it’s not all pedal-to-the-metal - Milk Teeth are defined as much by days spent staring at the ceiling as those chugging cider down the park. ‘Brain Food’ steals the show, pairing an ode to “stalling” and “time-wasting” with a stop-start thrash, but they can slow things down too. ‘Swear Jar (again)’ and ‘Kabuki’ prove there’s life in the softer side of Milk Teeth’s melancholy, carried in no small part by Becky Blomfield’s nonchalant vocals.
Departed co-vocalist Josh Bannister leaves his mark, mind, not least on the devilish ‘Get A Clue’, a track defined by his wide-eyed, squalling madness. With Josh already seeking out pastures new, and a new era for Milk Teeth beginning in earnest, there’s sure to be leaps and bounds ahead. In the meantime, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better document of troubled teenagehood than ’Vile Child’.