When you get a release packed with irresistible contagion of sound and passion and still is bursting with stronger promise of much more to come from its conjurers, then you know you have a band worth watching very closely. Such is the case with Welsh band Milestone and their excellent new EP Medicate The Night. The release is an insatiable rampage ignited by what is in some ways a mixed collection of songs, though when they only range from senses igniting irrepressible encounters through to hunger driven essential rock n roll drenched in pure virulence and all lead an awakened appetite into greed, you know you have been hit by passion sparking excellence.
Formed in February 2012 after meeting in college, the Bridgend quartet of vocalist/guitarist Jack Howells, bassist Adam Pain, guitarist Kris Archer, and drummer Lewis Pilling, took varied influences such as The Black Keys, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters, and Them Crooked Vultures into their own riff powered invention resulting in an alternative rock sound which growls at and commands the ear whilst seducing it further with a raw voice of blues laced craft. Since emerging as a band Milestone has shared stages with the likes of Exit International, The Dead Famous, Gavin Butler from The Blackout, and Neil Starr from Attack, Attack, continually picking up new fans as they pushed into the UK, and with the new EP and a planned national tour landing their presence into wider recognition, expect explosive results.
Medicate The Night immediately lights up the ear with Dirty Knees, the bass of Pain standing within a scuzzy mist of guitar to spread an epidemic of a grooved riff upon the senses, its tone offering a mischievous invitation coated in an irresistible swagger. Stomping away with glee and enterprise the compelling lure is soon joined by the caustic riffs of Archer and Howells, their wonderfully abrasive yet wholly tempting sister groove recruiting any remaining doubts about the song. Settling into a steady stride as the vocals of Howells next lay another expressive persuasion upon the song, the crisp firm beats of Pilling frame it all with equally incendiary inducement. It is a heavy slice of pure rock n roll which makes no demands apart from subservience to its riff and groove sculpted call, something which is willingly offered within the first minute.
From the scintillating start the following tracks Shoot Me Down and Blame Me have a tall order to make as big an impression and though they slip below the pinnacle set it is not without a massive fight and impressive results. The first of the pair starts with concussive rhythms scything the air before the guitars add sonic flames which burn and imprint upon the senses like sparklers in a jet black sky, their touch lingering and white hot as the vocals begin their strong narrative. There is a busy fiery energy to the song which coats an emotive embrace within the high octane breath of riffs and rhythmic caging whilst the spinal groove is less defined than in the opener but a beckoning which persists with sure success. The second of the two is similarly gaited in its individual blues veined stance, a sinew clad stroll of infectious vocals and harmonies within another wealthy charge of superbly crafted ferocity rife with raw guitar invention and rhythmic punctuation. Both tracks continue the strong grip the band initiated with the opener yet equally suggest there is much more to come from the band as they lack the knock-out blow found on the other songs. Not that they are lacking any punch or leaving anything less than total pleasure and satisfaction behind.
The title track slams in next and rips best song honours from the hands of the other tracks whilst reinforcing the quality and might of the band. Sabre like swipes of crunchy guitar and metallic beats smack the ear to rile up its hunger before bass and riffs romp all over the senses with a snarling addiction causing groove which leaves primal captivation roaming over thoughts and emotions. Even when the song lies back on its predatory ensnaring for the vocals of Howells to embrace lyrics and ear, there is an intimidating edge to the warm coaxing which flames in varied intensity throughout the outstanding piece of invention. It is a stunning song which has everything needed to promote ardour from its classic rock n roll bruising.
The closing Bless Your Soul is a slower emotive endeavour showing another string to the carnivorous bow of the band’s songwriting, its part acoustic and mellow vocal evocation the base for potent impacting sturdier invention. It is a fine finale to an excellent release, the Medicate The Night EP making a declaration that Milestone is destined to make a strong mark on UK rock if not right now certainly in the future.
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