7,5 / 10
If a full length is produced by a band called Velvet Underground, it will have quite a good introduction to the audience. Especially when it comes to garage rock / post-punk lovers. Milk White’s ‘Cigarette Crimes’ is an diverse mix of garage contaminations and noisy background – everything lead by Erika Giuili’s explosive vocals.
Milk White hails from Rome, Italy, in 2009. Everything started with a quartet: Stefania Imperatori (guitar), Erika Giuili (guitar/vocals), Claudio Gatta (drums) and Dario Ferrari (bass). The release of the first EP ‘Prague’ created some good hype and brought the band on the stage of Italia Wave (both in 2009 and 2010). The band was also opener of Glasvegas, of whom we can get some hints in the more lo-fi bits (‘On my Way’). The debut album ‘Cigarette Crimes’ is quite an ‘international album’, fully soaked in garage, post punk and some indie pop.
The title comes from English crime novels, and gives us a hint of the dark, noisy and fuzzy atmosphere it aims to create. The intro itself (Intro: Fake Tan) is a perfect manifesto, with its one minute so or of madness (and here we get some Velvet). No recorded background, just drums, bass and guitar, whilst Erika goes from some Hole (‘Cigarette Crime’) to Siouxie Sioux (‘A Good Tea’). “Insomnia” and “Paper Rose” are less grungy, garage-esque and neurotic, with bass and drums overpowering guitars. Back again with punk and post in the powerful ‘You’ and the gloomier ‘Lines and Curves’, in which some influences of new generation of garage punk can be depicted (Wavves). It does not succeed completely in creating a messy atmosphere, losing the grip in grunge-like tracks (Cool Monster, She’s so Drunk), where it slows down a bit too much, releasing the tension created by the noisier bits.
All in all, Milk White show us they are capable of reaching an international audience with some honest, angry and fuzzy garage rock.