Milk
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Milk

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The first band of the night was Milk, a powerful quartet of hometown heroes straight out of Allston. They are a self-aware band that wants to feed the crowd heavy licks and hard-boiled punk sensibilities so that they can quench their own insatiable desires to rock, a feat that can only be undertaken when everyone in the room is crazy-eyed with anticipation for the next riff. When was the last time you said something was cool and weren’t drenched in irony? These guys are clearly C-O-O-L cool—from the lead singer/guitarist Matthew Brady’s raspy, I-don’t-give-a-flying-circus vocals, straight down to drummer Jesse Galkowski’s thunder feet, so strong they broke the bass pedal after only three songs. Zeppelin, Stooges, or Pink Floyd references come easily, as Milk clearly has elements of punk and rock’s founding behemoths in their sound, but they also pay homage to the greats not by emulating them but by becoming their own rock-monster. Check out “Restless Deep Sea Blues” and “Cupertino” if you want a taste; go see them live if you want to live. - Allston Pudding


The members of Milk are very good at snap decision making.

It began in December 2011 when they made the quick decision to form a band and didn’t hesitate to decide on what that band would mean for all of them. It continued when they were quick to decide to take that band on tour, just as quickly as they decided on that tour’s name. Now, all these decisions have turned into a great reality, as the “Rolling Volvelle Tour” plans to launch May 21, just after the four of them graduate from Boston University.

In the living room of their Allston apartment one Monday afternoon, they sat hip-to-hip on the couch, sipping beers, some out of bottles, others out of cans. That’s when Matt Brady, their lead vocalist and guitarist, told them his idea for a tour name.

“The Rolling Volvelle,” he said.

His roommates and bandmates, drummer Jesse Galkowski and keyboardist Sam Taber (at this point sans bassist Luke Savoca), loved the sound of it, but they had no idea what it meant.

It’s a type of slide chart constructed in paper with revolving parts, Brady explained to them.

When you search “volvelle,” Google shows guides and calculators. But an image better suited to Milk is a volvelle like a collection of rotating images, mirroring their evolving diversity as a band.

This particular diversity is manifested in the different genres that each member contributes to their sound, which is like a melting pot of garage rock, something they describe as genuine and homegrown, just as their name suggests.

Milk came about because the band liked one syllable names, Galkowski explained. It just so happened that Milk coincided with the sound they hope to emanate as a group.

“Sometimes music is catering to the point of not being genuine,” Brady said.

That means focusing more on making the best music than cultivating a certain image, they said. They talked about bands who worry too much about what they wear, or focus too much on putting on big, flashy shows.

Milk hones in on their simplicity as a four-piece rock band, despite the obstacle of combining the diverse influence of every member. They all listen to different kinds of music and have different backgrounds; Galkowski and Savoca are in the all-male a cappella group The Dear Abbeys, and Taber loves how old his favorite music is.

“We’re discovering our image organically,” Galkowski said. “It’s not about anything beyond the music.”

Right now, their image is “home.” It’s in the way they put on home shows once a month and record and practice in their basement (“next to the kitty litter box”). Brady, Galkowski and Taber all live together, too, and Savoca will eventually join them.

Beyond their Allston dwelling, Milk has made Boston a home - and bookends to their tour. They have definite ties to this city, but they realize they will soon grow out of it.

“You reach a ceiling here,” Taber said. “And other cities do a better job of fostering local talent.”

That’s why they wanted to tour in the first place, to “plant their seed elsewhere,” as Brady puts it.

They’ll travel around the Northeast, from Philadelphia to Burlington, for 11 or 12 days. They plan on living out of their van, on couches, or stay in motels when they can afford it.

“It’s going to be like a camping trip with music,” Galkowski said.

To help fund the tour, Galkowski set up a Kickstarter account for them so family, friends and fans could make donations to help them reach their goal of $1,000 by April 28.

“Any help you can give will get us that extra meal, extra mattress, extra mile,” Galkowski wrote on the site.

While on tour, their biggest hope is that other cities will respond as positively as Boston has, and their drive and commitment already gives them some confidence.

“If you play good music and care about it, people can see it,” Savoca said. “The chemistry translates.”

They maintain that their drive won’t fizzle out after the tour, either. In order to make it, they have to keep going. Other graduates in the class of 2013 have something like a plan--either to job hunt or settle down with a job offer--but these four guys knew what they want their future to look like, and it looks like Milk.

If you’d like to donate to Milk’s Kickstarter campaign to help send them on tour,
click here. Backers have the opportunity to get merchandise from the band. - The Buzz


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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