Beastmilk - Climax Review
Here’s the thing. I don’t think Beastmilk sound like Joy Division at all. It seems that whenever a new dark post-punk influenced band emerges, people immediately associate them with Joy Division. Now the reason why I bring this up is that in 1980 Joy Division co-headlined a show with Killing Joke. From the stories I’ve heard the audience stood still during the Joy Division set, and danced when Killing Joke played. According to Jaz Coleman, the mood backstage was similar. Joy Division sat in silence, while Killing Joke partied. I have a feeling that Beastmilk fall into the latter camp. This album is a remarkable achievement and is by far the most promising debut I’ve heard in years. Beastmilk combine the Geordie Walker-esque mangled and disjointed guitar playing with groovy drumming, and gloomy, yet energetic vocals to create a spine-chilling effect. Before this album Beastmilk have released two 7” (of which the former was originally a cassette release). Both of those releases were great but I feel that with the full-length all the missing pieces have been set in place.
Climax is mostly new songs but also features the song The Wind Blows Through Their Skulls from the cassette/7”, but it sounds even better with the improved production qualities. The best song, though, comes immediately after. Genocidal Crush features dark, yet humorous lyrics that suit the groovy rhythm really well. Lyrical repetition is used to a particularly haunting effect. I feel that this is the song that is the biggest departure from Beastmilk’s earlier releases and it feels like the doomy and gloomy band are actually enjoying themselves. As a fan of clapping and stomping I was also really delighted to hear some clapping along with the drums in the rhythm section. Furthermore the vocalist shines and does an impressive job on the whole album, but especially on this song. The album is largely a very rocking release, which is part of the reason why I hesitate to call this a post-punk album. However, there are two tracks that are more moody. Namely, Ghost Out Of Focus and Strange Attractors. Both sound like early Chameleons at their best. I sound like a fanboy, and perhaps I am, but this album truly impressed me, it came out of nowhere, and so far I can say that this is by far the album of the year. We’ll have to wait and see how this ranks with albums released later this year, but this definitely sets the bar really high! Beastmilk are a modern combination of early Killing Joke and The Chameleons with a heavier guitar sound and some death rock thrown in the mix. I’m a fan.
4 ½ / 5
The album will be released by Svart Records 29 November 2013. I will play songs from the album next Thursday and on the 24th. Tune in!