Milemarker

Anaesthetic

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

You get the feeling that the members of Milemarker grew up listening to Crass, Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Minutemen, and Wire as well as the aboriginal hardcore of their D.C. homeland. In spite of the obvious influences, the group (or, as they prefer to be called, the collective) has a completely original sound that lies somewhere between the melodic weirdness that was cult capital-area new wavers 9353 and the shimmering political prog punk explored by Fugazi, though filtered through the haze of guitar-friendly-period Rush.

Fanzine chats with the group tend to focus on the political nature of the band, and it's obvious that the members all see the group as a platform for such views. This is nice, but Milemarker isn't a soapbox shouter; the music holds up and the dogmatic overtures do not replace nor distract from the damn-near danceable songs on the disc. The lead cut, "Shrink to Fit," encapsulates the band's sound nicely, as it trades off different vocal styles, offers a catchy riff augmented with prominent '80s keys, and contains an eerie melody during the chorus that could be goth, could be electronica, could be rock, but whatever it is, it couldn't be better. As the record goes along, the songs lose their edge somewhat, but not in a bad way. This includes more surreal instrumentation like U2 might pull off if they were an indie rock band who loved Pink Floyd, such as on the dreamy "Ant Architect" and the droning, shoegazing disc-closer, "The Installment Plan," which completes the vision of an uncompromising group who writes brilliant songs of all temperatures.

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