Milk Maid: Yucca Review

I’ve listened to this album several times now and I like it.

There isn’t a lot more I can say. Most reviewers will make some comparison between this and potential influences the band might have, “Milk Maid draw strong parallels between themselves and the Mancunian explosion bands of the noughties”.

See, that doesn’t work does it? Not because it’s a ridiculous sentence, I hope, but purely because I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m not even sure if there was an explosion of Manchester bands last decade.

Do bands even explode? Who knows?

Despite this, I still think I’m qualified to review this album; if only because I’ll simply tell you whether I like something or not. But even I can give you a bit more detail than that.

Milk Maid is the vehicle for Martin Cohen who, after leaving NME darlings Nine Black Alps, wanted more creative control. Yucca, the first yield from Cohen’s new harvest, is the delightful outcome.

I’ve no idea how the album was recorded, but every song seems to have been given a sort of distortion which reminds me of when I’d play dated vinyl records. I’m sure this is intentional, as it gives Yucca a fuzzy warmth which is both comforting and distinctive.

Opening with “Such Fun”, a catchy little guitar number, Milk Maid’s ability to put together a good verse and infectious chorus is clear. And they do this pretty much throughout the whole album.

The first single to be released, “Oh”, is actually my favourite. It has such a timeless chorus that I’ve been humming it in my head for weeks now. In fact, I’m a little surprised it wasn’t taught at school.

It feels as though these songs have been forming in Cohen’s head for quite some time now and I can imagine these were probably the impetus for his new musical direction. He’s thought about them in detail, got them precisely right and Yucca is something he should be proud of.

The only weak link is “Back Of Your Knees” which plods along with no real destination. But that recorded distortion still makes it a plod worth plodding for Captain Plod.

(That’s me)

Yucca will be staying in my collection and I’m already looking forward to the next musical offering from Mark Cohen’s brain. He’s bound to have a few more catchy numbers swirling around his, and I’m sure I’ll like those ones too.

Tim Green

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Dates ‘n stuff

July 2011