Album Review

YOWL - Milksick

YOWL do what they do well, but it feels like they’ve shown their full hand already.

YOWL - Milksick

There’s an air of malcontent about YOWL’s debut album, Milksick. Then again, that’s always been the London proto-punk quintet’s way. 2019 EP ‘Atrophy’ displayed a band sick of the world’s social and societal issues. Today, ‘Milksick’ is unleashed as a monument to their strife.

There’s been the hard graft and the careful attention given to it over the years, but now tracks like ‘Virile Crocodile Sweat’ and ‘Weedkiller’ stand tall, resolute. Indeed, ‘Milksick’ is a collection of cautionary tales for a modern populace, told in an endearingly everyman way by frontman Gabriel Byrde.

There are splashes of colour: the closing duo of ‘Billy’s Birds’ and ‘A Birthday With David’ reduce the pace and strip out the intensity. The former is a superb piece of anxiety-riddled work that combines Foo Fighters’ quieter moments with a lilting falsetto that hypnotises and entrances, while the latter is a charming acoustic tune that underpins a deluge-like internal monologue.

Unfortunately, though, across these 12 tracks, swathes begin to sound alike - this statue is carved from a single slab, after all. Be it in the formulaic rising and falling of ‘Donkey’s Jawbone’, or the relentless hum of ‘The Farmer’s Big Spade’, the middle of ‘Milksick’ becomes a wash of pissed off yet samey post-punk. YOWL do what they do well, but it feels like they’ve shown their full hand already.

Tags: YOWL, Reviews, Album Reviews

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