The first comparison that comes to mind when you see Milo designate themselves as a math rock band is Foals. It’s a pretty obvious link to make, but it falls far short of describing what Milo’s first EP is all about.
Granted the rhythm guitar is bright, high-pitched and often veers off to unexpected places, but, at the same time, another much more aggressive guitar line threatens to overwhelm this chiming line of thought.
What is most striking about the songs on this EP is the contrasting nature of this duality. We can hear the rhythm guitar above the storm, possibly because it represents a voice. From this it could be taken that the aggressive aspects in their music reflect the outer world encroaching upon this personality.
The Belfry introduces us to Milo with a provisional, deviating rhythm. It sounds enticing and upbeat, eschewing the image that the song title brings to mind. That is, however, until the darkness arrives. When it does, though, there’s no huge hurry to escape as it compels the listener to stay and figure out its cause.
Sunday Sandwich, another enigmatic title, doesn’t feel the need to guide us in in the same way. The rhythm guitar is a bit more weighted, sounding quite reflective or nostalgic while burning through memories at an easy pace. The matter at hand becomes more imminent, though, when the lead guitar returns at the halfway mark, building to a climactic height before falling away to leave the original rhythm, alone again.
The last song on the EP, Lucid, is another drenched in aggression. The final minute or so is full of repeated phrases, exaggerating something that the band may feel has been left uncommunicated. When this arrives it feels like a dam has burst, like some trigger has finally been pressed and all repression and fear has broken loose.
The four songs on Milo’s self-titled debut certainly follow a similar theme, but this is by no means a limitation. This EP seems to be an exposition of a mind-set, brilliantly realized by the instrumental rock of band members Rob Gahan and Paul Doyle.