Bluesdoodles rating: 4 Doodle Paws – a wonderful rock-based album that has ten songs, each packed with more invention and talent than many other releases manage in a whole album.
The Milk Men are about to release their fourth album, Spin The Bottle, following their preview single, Cheap Seats about which I said:” With the hugely talented line up of Jamie Smy, Adam Norsworthy, Lloyd Green and Mike Roberts you know it’s going to be quality and they even combine two riffs into one song and make it work brilliantly. Think of Billy Gibbons and Stevie Wonder backed by an in-tune Neil Young…add in a tale of a very positive, down-on-his-luck protagonist that hasn’t lost his humour. It all works very well and provides a catchy blues-rock, R’n’B feel with a tasty, crafted guitar solo to top it all off.
The accompanying video is a strange mixture of a Seasick Steve lookalike who has had a little too much to drink (not milk!) and the band playing musical chairs with studio footage…it all makes an amusing backing to this lovely blues, rock, R’n’B song.”
Now take that ethos and multiply it by the other nine tracks to be found on the new album and prepare yourself for a bluesy rock ’n’ roll ride. Driving It opens the album with the suitable sound of a car revving followed by a bass line and a classic blues rock chord sequence which moves through hints of AC/DC, Quo and the Faces in a quality and clever way, reminding us all that those chords are older than Angus! Totally irresistible and pay special attention to the killer bass line (although they all play exceedingly well.) Go Go Baby was the first single and is pure genius R’n’b layered on every crystal clear note from each instrument…they somehow make it sound warm and comfortably familiar and it isn’t; it’s all new and the guitar duet should have lasted a whole lot longer.
Adelaide changes mood and colour with chiming acoustic guitars that then blend with nice electric phrasing. This song is lyrically photogenic… which makes little sense until you listen to this song that I can imagine Rod Stewart would have given valuable parts of his anatomy for prior to his crooning stage. How Do You Think I Feel? has a blues base but with pop and rock tendencies showing on the chord work and melodies. Still a good ‘un and a sing-a-long opportunity on the upcoming tour…even if it’s about losing a girl to your best mate!
Sing The Blues is, unsurprisingly the bluesiest track on the album, and Adam shows perfectly how to play simply complex blues guitar with a fresh take on some classic methods, and the solo is equally class, classy, engaging and too short. Gabba Gabba Hey isn’t cricket related but a genius tribute to The Ramones (any doubt dispelled as Jamie names them all) with a hint of early Bowie and will grab hold and not let go. Fabulous has the bass as the star for me: it’s clever, intricate and fluid as the band work a sort of 1960s ZZ Top blend very cleverly around it. There is a great guitar solo too in case you’re not as obsessive as me. Highway Woman is a heavy psyche-influenced late 60s rock song of the kind that Hendrix can rightly claim the crown…this is a kind of crosstown riff with added layers to make for a catchy rock song with heft. Bad Seed closes the album with dark and heavy riffing as the guitars and bass work faultlessly together and the vocals lighten the situation before the riff returns…it sounds like a bit of Ash in a heavy mood.
In summary, I will first congratulate myself – I’ve got to the end without resorting to puns (of which there would be many) on the band’s name. Then I will congratulate the band on producing a rock-based album that has ten songs, each packed with more invention and talent than many other releases manage in a whole album.
Go Go Baby
How Do You Think I Feel?
Sing The Blues
Gabba Gabba Hey
All songs were written by Jamie Smy & Adam Norsworthy except Tracks 7 & 9 written by Lloyd Green & David Coleman
Jamie Smy – Vocals
Adam Norsworthy – Guitars, Piano, Backing Vocals, Percussion
Lloyd Green – Bass Guitar
Mike Roberts – Drums
James Welch – Hammond organ
Catch The Milkmen on tour:
Friday 7th October – Swanage Blues Festival
Saturday 22nd October – HRH Blues Festival, Liverpool Arts Centre , Liverpool
Friday 11th November – Barnoldswick Music & Arts Centre, Lancashire
Saturday 12th November – Hallelujah Festival, Hartlepool
Sunday 13th November – The Flying Circus, Newark (afternoon show)
Thursday 8th December – Half Moon, Putney (w/ Dr. Feelgood)
Saturday 17th December – The Musician, Leicester (Supporting Dr. Feelgood)
Connect with The Milkmen across SOCIAL MEDIA
(I cheated this time and didn’t let iTunes just run on…instead, listening to Adam on this fine album reminded me of his 2018 solo release of a folky but accomplished set of songs called The Circus Moon. It illustrates Adam’s talent to weave stories and paint pictures with lyrics and write a song which makes you truly listen to and appreciate the lyrical content as much as the music.)