Somnambule - Writing About Music

My Kill Jack’s On ~ Milk Beast’s Lullaby

I’m sorry but My Kill Jack’s On is not a good name (I’m guessing it’s a quote from an obscure martial arts movie or something similar).
Apart from that minor quibble, Milk Beast’s Lullaby (erm, not keen on that title either, though it’s rather more redolent of Captain Beefheart and therefore a tad more attractively unappetising) starts out very promisingly with ‘You Can’t Hide Your Breaks’ (gearing up to make more sense now, which almost proves a little disappointing – lord, lord there’s no pleasing some people). The track proceeds in no uncertain terms to do just that (hide any breaks, that is). The bass isn’t as fat as it might be (is bass ever fat enough?), but it’s not exactly weedy either.

Ooh and then it’s succeeded by ‘Long Live Mono Lake’ and... (cutting to the chase) Boards of Canada anyone? It’s the same hazy wavy analogue sounds, the same minor chords - so similar at times you might expect a lawsuit (or that it really is BoC, but when it goes all slow-mo drum’n’bass-ey halfway through it’s clear it’s not the Scottish brothers themselves - their metier hasn't so far been d'n'b). Nice all the same (do we really need originality all the time?) Makes one wonder why the BoC template is so attractive, so influential (nostalgia for a cocoon-like childhood seen through the filter of the strange years that follow into adulthood is undeniably attractive).

‘Runciter’s Coin’ (Glen Runciter – protagonist of Philip K. Dick’s 1969 novel Ubik) returns to the breaks in pleasing fashion. The remainder of the album offers a number of other tweaks to the flavours already enumerated (while the alternation of fast and slow breaks continues).

Milk Beast’s Lullaby is one for impatient Boards Of Canada fans who don't want a straight copy (and who knows - maybe it really is Eion and Sandison in disguise... ...(but then I read the cover and the liner notes' reference to mom and dad make me think otherwise). Whatever your thoughts about originality this is an enjoyable listen.
Colin Buttimer
August 2004
Published by Absorb