A while back, I reviewed an excellent, unique male/female blues punk duo from southern Florida, roundabouts the Everglades, called KILLMAMA. The guitar-playing penile portion of the band *(no, not meaning he’s a dick, but merely that he has a penis – – – an important distinctinction from the other half of his full-time act KILLMAMA, drummer/multi-instrumentalist/lead vocalist Sophie Sputnik), ROB KINGSLEY, apparently has a bit of a legacy in performing within various realms of the southern Florida punk scene on his own over the years. Incidentally, this particular band gives the talented multi-instrumentalist *(though known mostly for his intense guitar work) a good go behind the drum kit.
And that band would be MILK SPOT, who’ve been around about a decade or so, but only recently have begun to perform live regularly within their local scene. This review is for their new seven song ep, titled HETERO-FLEXIBLE. There’s enough info right there to let one know this is an act based around some different, more light hearted subject matter. If you’re easily offended by song titles like “Gay Cowboy” and “Ambidextrous Handjob,” this may not be for you *(and you’d have no business – – – or interest – – – in reading this damn article anyway, either).
HETERO-FLEXIBLE opens with the surf-driven instrumental “Hypnic Jerk.” It sounds like THE VENTURES were hanging with JIMI LALUMIA & THE PSYCHOTIC FROGS and decided to record, with ROBERT RODRIGUEZ *(yes, the director) at the boards. To me, that’s a good thing. *(JIMI LALUMIA & THE PSYCHOTIC FROGS, by the way, were one of the original CBGB’s bands, going back as far as 1977 – – – if you don’t know who THE VENTURES were, I don’t know what to tell you, other than if you’ve ever heard the “Hawaii 5-0” theme, you’ve heard them.) The instrumental opener is swiftly followed by the four chord anthemic and straight-up punk ripper “American Lifeform.” It’s the closest MILK SPOT get to “serious” lyrics *(as that is not what they are about – – – they are about fun, offense, and humor, more than anything else). However, “American Lifeform” hits the nail on the head lyrically, classically angsty and linguistically true.
From there comes “Tex Mex,” which is just plain funny, and another straight up piece-o-punk. Again it conjures strange slapstick imagery with that “Rodriguez behind the boards” vibe. MILK SPOT seem to revel in the surreal, never a bad thing. There’s a very DEAD MILKMEN feel in both sound and lyric to this one.
“Love Song,” however, takes things in a slightly different direction. A pure, simple love song, with an interestingly mid-paced psychedelic vibe, almost bringing to mind some of THE BEATLES *(of which I am admittedly not a fan, nor ever have been – – – and the more they’ve been forced into my ear canals, or I’ve been told how they are the greatest band ever, the less I like them) early recordings. Mid-paced and upbeat, somewhat touching, the arrangement and vocal harmonies are what really shine through and make this song standout as the musical wonderwork it indeed is. I also get the impression it’s really a bust on that plague called hipsters. Again, JIMI LALUMIA & THE PSYCHOTIC FROGS comes to mind. In fact, the entire HETERO-FLEXIBLE ep has that same sense of fun and fukk you mashed perfectly together, much like JIMI LALUMIA, or even WAYNE/JAYNE COUNTY, did in those long foregone, early days of the whole CBGB/Max’s Kansas City movements/scenes. *(I loathe the word scene, really, as its modern-meaning implications usually tend to involve an almost impenetrable “clique-ishness” amongst many involved, almost an elitism, as opposed to the “collective/communal” intents for which it initially stood.)
“Ambidextrous Handjob” is another ripper, fast, sloppy, loud, and short. “We breathe the Angel’s breath / We are the ones that laugh at death” being maybe the coolest lyric on the album. While humorous, there’s a wondrous streak of joyous nihilism that permeates the entire one minute and thirty-five second track.
The blues-to-hardcore “Granny’s Got A Brand New Hip” is fukking hysterical. Apparently she not only has a brand new hip, but also brand new prick, along with several other brand new things like eyes, crack, a rack, a phone, and even a dolphin. Yes, a dolphin. And I think even a rattlesnake. Yes, Granny’s got a bunch of new, mostly unnecessary things, to read between the lines of vile hilarity and all else that accompany this song – – – all their songs, really.
Finally we get to “Gay Cowboy,” a song about a twink-biker finding the companion biker-bear of his dreams, and most importantly finding his hairline of love. This ends the album on a chuckley note of bizarre biker-machismo satire perfectly.
Being able to laugh at yourself is a good thing. Being able to laugh at others – – – even better. But everyone being able to laugh together, at everything, these messed up lives we’ve created and this world we’ve fukked – – – that’s just the best.
Support these guys, buy this album. Recommended for fans of the DEAD MILKMEN, JIMI LALUMIA & THE PSYCHOTIC FROGS, even FRANK ZAPPA, and for those who generally enjoy the sounds of satire and rock-n-roll properly fused.
More on MILK SPOT:
Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email email@example.com