Release Date: August 25, 2023 Genre: Pop Punk, Post Hardcore, Pop Rock
Label: Music For Nations After a trilogy of self-produced EPs, Are You Feeling Alive? (2019), I Just Wanna Know What Happens When I'm Dead (2021), and The King and Queen of Gasoline (2022), Manchester-based band Hot Milk are back with their much-anticipated debut studio album, A Call To The Void. Hot Milk's debut album, A Call To The Void, is an electrifying and emotionally charged journey that blends various musical styles into a cohesive and captivating collection of tracks. The album bursts open with the dynamic duo of "WELCOME TO THE..." and "HORROR SHOW," setting the tone for what's to come. The transition from the intense intro to the raw energy of "HORROR SHOW" is seamless, showcasing the band's ability to seamlessly weave contrasting elements together.
The album's third track, "BLOODSTREAM," stands out with its hauntingly infectious blend of rock and electronic dance music. The haunting synth lines and groovy beats draw listeners into its intense atmosphere. The song's exploration of abusive relationships adds depth to the album's thematic content, demonstrating Hot Milk's willingness to delve into emotionally charged subjects.
"PARTY ON MY DEATHBED" takes the energy up another notch, highlighting the band's versatility. The song's mix of heavy guitar riffs, emotional vocals, and unexpected shifts, including a rap verse, showcase Hot Milk's willingness to experiment while staying true to their core sound. The dynamic shifts in this track mirror the emotional rollercoaster of living life to the fullest, reflecting the album's overarching themes.
Hot Milk's pop-punk influences shine through on the track "ALICE COOPER'S POOL HOUSE," a track that channels the spirit of mid-2000s pop-punk anthems. This nod to the genre's heyday adds a nostalgic touch to the album, giving listeners a taste of the band's musical inspirations.
"OVER YOUR DEAD BODY" continues the album's exploration of heavier tones, with powerful vocals and a bass-driven foundation. The back-and-forth between co-vocalists Han Mee and Jim Shaw adds a layer of dynamism to the track, while the emotional depth and melodic hooks keep the listener engaged. Jim even screams and growls on the track's colossal breakdown.
Now it's Han's time to showcase her vocal abilities with her screams on "MIGRAINE." The song showcases Hot Milk's ability to seamlessly blend genres, incorporating elements of pop, rock, and electronic music. Han's vocal versatility is on full display here, adding a unique texture to the song's sonic landscape.
"BREATHING UNDERWATER" shifts the album's mood with its introspective and emotive vibe. The song's stripped-down arrangement allows Han's vocals to take center stage, and the deeply personal lyrics create a powerful connection with the listener. This track serves as a pivotal moment on the album, encapsulating the band's emotional core.
"AMPHETAMINE" takes a different sonic direction, featuring Loveless vocalist Julian Comeau. The song's exploration of prescribed drug use adds yet another layer to the album's themes, while the collaborative effort brings a fresh perspective to the mix.
The album comes to a poignant close with "FORGET ME NOT." This piano-driven ballad showcases the band's vulnerability and willingness to push creative boundaries. The vocoder vocal effects and drum-and-bass chorus create a unique sonic experience that leaves a lasting impression for all listeners.
A Call To The Void is a remarkable debut that showcases Hot Milk's ability to seamlessly blend genres, experiment with different styles, and tackle complex emotions. The album's energy, emotional depth, and musical diversity make it a standout release, setting the stage for what promises to be an exciting journey for the band. Hot Milk has not only delivered an impressive debut but has also carved a distinct identity that sets them apart in the music landscape.