new music: millsted’s ‘harlem’ is one of the most creative punk rock records in years. #soundcheck

July 18, 2014

THIS is what music is supposed to sound like. I’ve been psyched about the new Millsted record since getting a sneak peak at tracks “Coyote” and “Benghazi,” but the full length is here and it is a thing of glory. Harlem is the album we need right now.

Words by Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

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Millsted’s latest opens with “Perfume,” an instrumental master class in their peculiar mixture of shoegaze and hardcore. Like just about everything they do, it’s unexpected, strange, and triumphant. They quickly launch into the 1-2 punch of “Coyote” and “Benghazi,” which here retain their status of just generally being fucking great. “Raunchula” further cements the bands genius for off-kilter hooks and gut punching rhythms. There’s a little bit of Black Eyes and Drive Like Jehu in their angular divergence from melody into raw noise and back again.

When the band gets melodic, as on the stunning intro to “Las Casas,” and the epic “Seafoam Lovers,” they show themselves to be just as capable of harnessing noise into beauty as they are at turning it into fury. The 9 minute run of “Seafoam Lovers” is hypnotic and amazing. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m still on quite a few painkillers for my lung, but man, I just sort of want to live inside their feedback for a while. Inverting the indie trope of “closing out on a looped noisy epic melodic jam,” the band ends things on the minute and a half rager “Gypsys.” As 21st century punk rock continues to reinvent and redefine itself, Millsted’s sonic adventurousness is a landmark record in the new era of meta omni genre punk rock.