MilkDrive – Places You’ve Not Been (2015)

title:Places You’ve Not Been
Year Of Release:2015
Label:Bismeaux Records
Genre:Bluegrass, Americana, Country, Folk
Quality:320 Kbps
Total Time:45:29 min
Total Size:108 MB

MilkDrive – Places You’ve Not Been (2015)
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1. Take Too Long 4:09
2. Orion’s Waltz 4:54
3. As They Go 3:21
4. John Paul 3:37
5. Hall of Stone 3:49
6. Camp Schnool 4:53
7. The Water 2:49
8. Bad Girl 4:13
9. Delephine 3:56
10. SoHo 4:38
11. Bones 3:08
12. Ode to Alice 2:08
When MilkDrive slip into chamber music mode, it’s difficult to set them apart from other modern stringbands. The five minute instrumental “Orion’s Waltz,” for example, is a perfectly crafted tune, well-played and full of admirable fretwork. But their shredding abilities aren’t what make the band great.
Where MilkDrive stand out is when they open their mouths and use their unique verse and engaging voices to tell a story. The opening tune, “Take Too Long,” is a palpitating song reminiscent of Luka Bloom’s “Acoustic Motorbike,” wherein the band employ repetitive guitar and vocal lines to propel the song’s impatient poetry. On their own, the pizzicato string lines in “As They Go” seem a little grandiose but, as a the foundation for their words of indolence, the instrumentation works almost perfectly.
Men and women on the streets, seeking handouts at the corner, are so common in today’s world they go sadly unnoticed. MilkDrive bring them into focus with heartbreaking clarity on the album’s very best song, the brilliant “John Paul.” The song segues into “Hall Of Stone,” a ballad steeped in the chordal structures of Robert Ford’s America. “Camp Schnool,” good song though it may be, falls prey to the same virtuosic indifference as “Orion’s Waltz” but “The Water” wisely wraps a chilly story of icy water around a terrific solo fiddle flight. “Soho” is a fun little number (which you can see the band perform live on this Sitch Session) and the la-dee-da vocal opening to “Bones” is a nice way to start a really strong folk-rock tune.
If MilkDrive can resist the urge to show off their shredability, choosing instead to use their virtuosity to support their songcraft, their next album will be even better than this one. Places You’ve Not Been is a strong showing from some talented players.

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