Chance EP by Milkteeth (Nov 2010)

milkteeth_cover.jpgMembers: Joey Basha (Vocals/Guitar/Lyrics/Melodica)Jeroen Brulez (Handkit/Percussion)Theo Chan (Violin)With – Koya Hisakazu (Bass)

Track List:

1. Shea Heights

2. Jolly Shandy

3. Chicken Nugget

4. Stay Home

5. Hobbes

6. Edging

‘Chance,’ the new EP from Milkteeth has been eagerly anticipated by this reviewer, who has seen Milkteeth both as a band and as a solo part numerous times. Over the last year this three piece band have made their mark on the local music scene and the result of this is their new six track EP recorded by Chochukmo’s Kento Kawamura (part of one of Hong Kong’s most established bands) and mixed by local music veteran Koya Hisakazu, at Mark-1 Studios.

For anyone who has not seen Milkteeth live, the infectious energy and passion of the band makes a strong first impression. Coupled with the strong technical ability of each member, Milkteeth provide a captivating live performance. So does this transfer successfully to their EP? Mostly, yes.

On first impressions, ‘Chance’ presents itself as a playful and upbeat record. The folk influences in their music help to create this perception. This side of the record is demonstrated in the musical notes of stand-out tracks ‘Chicken Nugget’ and ‘Edging.’ ‘Chicken Nugget’, for me, a comment on romance in the 21st century, perfectly combines Joey’s youthful voice with Theo’s playful and rich violin sequences. Edging is a great example of a successful transfer to the EP, with the short bursts of strings and crisp notes more pronounced than in a live setting. This strength is found in further tracks, adding to the texture and pace of each song, which is a key element in the bands music.

However the light, folk tones of the record are not over-labored and under closer scrutiny, layers of depth start to emerge from the tracks. “Stay Home” evokes a darker mood, with Jereon skillfully employing a rich melody on the darbouka. Joey’s lyrics, although in parts playful, also provide refreshingly honest perceptions. The inclusion of bass and melodica also provides a welcome switch, providing moments of sweet, layered sound-scapes. This really showcases the strong ensemble that Milkteeth has created.

This EP is a great snapshot of what Milkteeth are about. Diverse melodies, folk fun and tracks which explore the dark and light of love and life. Is it as enjoyable as watching them live? This reviewer doesn’t think that is possible, but it certainly is the next best thing.

Heather Lowe.

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