Mostly No

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Mostly No is the second full length release by Milk Maid, the band founded and fronted by former Nine Black Alps bassist Martin Cohen. It Arrives hot on the heels of last year’s highly-regarded debut Yucca, possibly buoyed-on speedily by Cohen’s enthusiasm for wanting “to be a songwriter in a band” and perhaps by his desire for things to be less thought of as a solo endeavour. Having spoken to him recently (imminent interview plug), I can safely say he’s a thoroughly affable and likeable lad, a thing which is definitely carried through in the carefree and breezy sound he and his mates artfully conjure and often, we find the positivity of what’s going on melodically belies the downbeat darkness of what’s given lyrically. That’s not to say, thematically, that Mostly No is something of a downer though - the low-in-the-mix vocals make some of what’s being said pass by more as melody than message and, the fuzzed-out bliss pop, or blissed-out fuzz pop of tracks like the gorgeous “Your neck against mine” and opener “Dopamine” would never allow us to get too introspective with ourselves. Likewise the respective swaggers (if swagger can ever be the right term for people making charming and endearing music) of “Summertime”, “Picture of stone” and “Bad luck” (the chorus to which I can guarantee will get stuck in your head for days) are destined to inspire simple happiness and joy. There’s great variety on show, from moments of screaming and chaotic band-driven sonic vitality through to beautifully simple slow-paced strummers, that remind us that for the moment at least, Cohen is steering the ship. If we’d had anything of a summer these last few months, and any meteorological goodness to look forward to, Mostly No would be the perfect accompaniment, perhaps ironically so, as centrepiece “Summertime” would at least seem to be about waiting for good weather to commit suicide! A record that sings, sways, sweeps, strums and brings the sunshine in equal measure, it’s a perennially enjoyable collection in itself, and also offers great portent of what’s to come with a now more settled line-up.

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