August 9, 2018 | by Jocelyn Hoppa
It wasn't until hearing 2017's Mystic 100's by Milk Music that I realized how much lead singer Alex Coxen sounds like Television's Tom Verlaine. The band's well-received guitar-driven debut album Cruise Your Illusion dropped in 2013 via Fat Possum, and then four years passed. Mystic 100's was released somewhat quietly (I didn't catch it) via Dom America, an otherwise unknown barebones independent label.
Energetic, melodic swagger gives way to expansive psych-tinged jams, as Coxen's mixes poignant prose with dry, slacker disillusioned lines like, "I dreamt that money was free" ("Who's Been in My Dream").
Coxen (vocals, guitar), Joe Rutter (drums), Charles Waring (guitar), and Dave Harris (bass) first formed in Olympia some time around 2010. None of them knew how to play instruments, which is pretty surprising given how Milk Musicmay just well be my current prime example of a true guitar band — glorious lo-fi fuzz and distortion — in this era where rock is supposedly dead.
While compared to bands like The Wipers, Hüsker Dü, and the Meat Puppets, Milk Music is putting their own mark on rock music that spans 60s psych, 70s punk, and 80s SST releases. You'll also hear moments of country thrown into the mix. You'll probably hear whatever it is your ear is tuned to, which is a ridiculous statement, but it's weirdly true for Milk Music.
Mystic 100's is maybe best described by those folks over at Dom America:
From a cocoon of ambitious distortion, the caterpillar once known and loved as Olympia's Milk Music, reemerges as a butterfly in full psychedelic Technicolor as Mystic 100's... a sonic thrill ride through an acid-laced apocalypse that will freak your bean and leave you wanting more.
Honestly, I couldn't have phrased it better myself.
Listen to Mystic 100's // Purchase Here