Beastmilk released their infectious ‘apocalyptic post-punk’ masterpiece earlier this week, to zealous fans and hungry critics.
The album offers an interesting alternative to the monotonous American pop-punk sound which has taken over the music industry, and festivals it seems, with Blink 182 being recently announced as the headliners of Reading festival next year. The advent of a whole new genre, the dark and enchanting ‘post-punk’ is emblematic of the whole album. With vocals which make you question whether Ian Curtis has been reincarnated on this album, and guitar riffs which are reminiscent of Joy Division, Echo & the Bunny Men and early Misfits, it is certainly a piece of work which deserves reverence and recognition.
Death Reflects Us opens the album with a relatively upbeat and energetic vibe, however this is juxtaposed with enigmatic and haunting vocals which offers an interesting sound and an unfeigned desire to hear more. Genocidal Crush contains some of their darkest and sinister lyrics, “An innocent kiss turns to lust, I’ve got a genocidal crush » highlighting the destructiveness of falling for someone, and the overall morose but incredibly addictive tone of the album. What makes the album so distinct and memorable, is the incorporation of such extensive influences in the past and reviving them into something of an ingenious, modern interpretation and far from being derivative and lazy. It’s addictive, mesmeric, and innovative alternative punk, fuelled by raw and unbounded emotion which comes through on the album, particularly on tracks like Love in a Cold World.
…It sounds as if the distorted guitars and distinct vocals would transfigure habitually into the live environment…
The common problem with punk bands is that they possess no sense of melody, and anger combined with frustration often presides over incoherent thrashy guitars, however Beastmilk avoid this. The anger, frustration and darkness of their lyrics are structured into hypnotic, intricate melodies, and moments of subtle intimacy which is particularly noticeable in Strange Attractors, one of the finest tracks in the album.
Beastmilk have kept their distance from the commercial radar, but their gothic-tinted compelling anthems have caught the attention of Kurt Bollou from Converge who produced ‘Climax’ with Svart Records. As a debut album, it stands as work of powerful melancholy and musical mastery. Listening to the album is a compelling and frankly, trippy experience. It sounds as if the distorted guitars and distinct vocals would transfigure habitually into the live environment. Unfortunately, Beastmilk have not yet embarked upon a UK tour, however with appraisal and recognition from the likes of NME and The Guardian, the envisaged success of their album is likely to change that. The post-1970s punk scene has lost its grassroots in the last decade, but Beastmilk have shown in their seminal album ‘Climax’, that the genre can be rejuvenated and revived without simply imitating.