Good Morning Milo - Through The Chaos & Clatter
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: October 10, 2009
Good Morning Milo’s debut full-length, Through the Chaos & Clatter, is a record without a single bad song. Unfortunately, most songs tend to fluctuate between the good and bad, meaning that the record lacks any great songs as well. Still, though, Weston Gardner (vocals), Peter Begle (guitar), Ren Thibodeau (rhythm guitar), Jonathan Hill (piano), Ivan Cabalo (bass), and Alexis Robles (drums) are able to put their talent on display well enough to earn commendation.
The pounding drums of album-opener “Pickup Lines” kick things off and are soon joined by melodic guitars. This instrumental track provides a decent start to the record, and it leads seamlessly into “Win Her,” a track about the flirting games associated with trying to win over a girl. The chorus is catchy and Gardner’s falsettos are impressive while the song itself definitely promotes a dance floor vibe. Next up is “Settling,” with an opening riff sure to get heads bobbing and verses that beg for hand claps. The lyrics here are also strong as Gardner sings lines like “From a bird’s eye where the air is thin/it takes some getting used to, some settling.” “To Kill a Songbird” is one of the album’s best offerings as it features skilled acoustic picking and a strong bass backing to a catchy chorus.
The slower verses of “Number One Killer” are a nice change of pace but the chorus lacks any hooks and the song drags on. “Feel The Crash” opens with the piano and successfully enters the ballad territory on this excellent track. Gardner’s vocals are strong as are the lyrics which include musings like “your diary is a play on words/it is a metaphor/for everything you knew wouldn’t last.” “The Proposal” is another short instrumental track that evolves from palm-muted guitars into some bona fide shredding. Of course, it flows nicely into “Engaged,” whose chorus weighs down its grooving verses and great bridge.
“Safe” delves into acoustic territory once more in this touching track about looking out for a loved one, but it lacks anything special musically. “Loving Without Argument” features punchy guitars and lyrics like “the corners of your mouth catch my eyes because you’ve left them down all night” in this pure powerpop number. “Waiting” has good riffs throughout and attention-grabbing verses while the subtle gang vocals also a nice touch.
The subsequent track, “Battle for the Nice Guy,” features synth behind an upbeat guitar and an excellent pre-chorus. The chorus itself, though, is quite lackluster and the song is easily forgettable. “Mr. Robot Man,” is not as interesting as the name would suggest but it is still a decent offering as the chorus is bound to get people jumping. Closing the record out nicely is a track called “Sunshine.” It is a uniquely modified version of the tune we all know: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.” Gardners’s vocals are quite good and the song gradually builds up from soft acoustic strumming in an impressive manner. Serving as a hidden track, “Johnny’s Song” comes on after minutes of silence and is a simple yet effective acoustic offering.
Most songs, then, have their ups and downs and the record as a whole is inconsistent in that regard. The vocals are good throughout but the melodies tend to be lackluster and other times the verses are good while the chorus is not. Tucked away within these songs, however, is raw talent and it manifests itself fully in songs like “Feel the Crash” and “Sunshine.” If Good Morning Milo can tap into that talent in future releases, they definitely have what it takes to craft a consistently good record in the near future.