MILWALKIE are a half Scottish, half German band now based in Berlin. Brothers Steve and Matt Morris had played with various bands in the Aberdeen area for several years before they accepted the sense of ‘not belonging’ in a cultural way and decided to up sticks and move to Germany…… but not before releasing their first eponymous EP in September 2011.
Unfortunately, just as the lads were ready to throw themselves into their music in the more culturally friendly environs of Berlin, their father became seriously ill, so the first few months were spent travelling back and forward between their and old homes. Sadly, their father passed away last summer, but throughout that whole traumatic period, Matt continued writing music, pushing on through the emotional pain to finish their first full-length album, ‘No Routes,‘ which is now scheduled for release on 28th February.
Given the circumstances then, I guess you could be forgiven for assuming that ‘No Routes‘ would be a rather introspective and possibly downbeat album. Far from it – while the two tracks featured in video format below, together with ‘Frozen Lake‘ and ‘The Stamp Collector‘ (which are all grouped around the album’s mid-point) may see the band in a more reflective mood, the album as a whole is pretty much upbeat and positive.
Songs such as ‘Surf, Surf Surf,‘ and ‘You’re Late,‘ are bouncy little dream-pop numbers as are ‘Milan‘ and more so, ‘Astraphobia’ which follow the more ‘experimental’ opener ‘Painolophone‘ which has gentle slide guitar laying over the top a pre-recorded loop run backwards. Or something like that!
OK, so the pace drops again for the closing two numbers, but nowhere throughout the forty-five minute duration of ‘No Routes’ do you get the impression of the writer(s) wanting to share their innermost grief.
On the contrary, it would seem that the relevant catharsis for the Morris brothers was to record a positive and uplifting piece of music that would not look out of place were it produced by any of the bands on the iconic Captured Tracks label.
(‘Back To The Snow’ is the band’s new single and is available now via their Bandcamp page – see below)
(‘No Routes’ is self -released on 28th February 2013)
(8.5 / 10)