Gig Seeker Pro


Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Rock Indie




"New York Minute Magazine (EP Review)"

The disorientation fans experienced when Radiohead departed from their earlier work and released Kid A and Amnesiac is still alive and well. Those who can appreciate that type of genre-bending love of tones and fidelity to the art of songwriting will find Milktooth's music to be a revitalized return to the idea that a song's style is secondary to its content and that songs should be filled with only what they need most. From diverse backgrounds, this group of accomplished musicians is making a sound that harnesses a dark profundity. Their new EP, Wild Before Our Eyes, is testament to the idea that mood itself can be expressive. Although it is not formally a concept album, there is an unmistakable consistency of themes. With an undercurrent of intelligent lyrics, their songs take vast and unexpected turns. Their "Some Things Cannot Be Undone" is a journey in dynamics that moves from dissonant whirring undertones to a bright sublimity, and tapers off with the kind of floating vocals that would fit on a Wild Beasts album. Milktooth is created by merging David Condos on lead with Zac Stred on bass and Adam Bokesch on drums. - Jon Karr, New York Minute

"NPR All Songs Considered (EP review)"

A "milk tooth" is another name for a baby tooth, or the first tooth a child grows before his or her permanent teeth come in. It's also the name of a band from Nashville that's put out one of the more mesmerizing CDs I've heard in recent months.

Milktooth's self-titled debut dabbles in a bit of everything, from noise-rock to glittering indie-pop and gentle folk, all in the span of about 25 minutes. If a single tone or theme ties the songs together, it's a surreal kind of creaky Americana, with spare acoustic instruments and sometimes haunting atmospherics, led by the howling voice of frontman David Condos.

- Robin Hilton, NPR (10/13/09) - Robin Hilton, NPR

"The Deli Magazine (EP review)"

Milktooth's debut album is a dynamic inaugural effort; through the use of stark contrast the band makes a candid record with wide accessibility and appeal. Precise musical arrangements cast the howling vocals in a feral hue lending them a candor which punctuates each song with lyrical depth. Sonorous guitar tone, percussive whacks and memorable songwriting combine to make this Nashville band one to keep your finger on.

“Your Arrows” is a simply magnetic song combining indie-pop sensibility with romantic imagery. Here the band reflects on a lover pursued pining for the piercing arrows of the pursuer; whether the love is idyllic, platonic or spiritual is left ambiguous. A continuation of the contrast surrounding this record, Milktooth captures beautifully both the exciting appeal and foreboding cost of the chase between lovers; an apt metaphor for a songwriter trying to assume a role within a band.

-Trevor Nyman, The Deli Magazine (6/23/09) - The Deli Magazine

"Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Critic's Pick)"

There's little doubt that the Nashville indie-rock trio Milktooth has the chops to break out. All that's missing is more material. Since dishing out its eponymous EP in 2009, Milktooth has cut its teeth on three more compact releases, including a set of acoustic songs that had the band reimagining "Billie Jean" as smoky Southern Gothic.

Last year Milktooth teamed up with producer Tom Laune (R.E.M.) for another EP, "Wild Before Our Eyes," and while it's also short on tracks, the quality is top-notch, resembling the sort of grand cathartic builds evoked by the National and the Walkmen, with a very distinguished element in the form of David Condos' earthy vocals.

Opening are two Milwaukee bands with different styles: pop-flavored folk-rock group Myles Coyne & the Rusty Nickel Band, and alternative-rock outfit Ikarus Down.

- Piet Levy - Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Nashville Scene Blog (Video Review)"

Local indie-rock trio Milktooth recently embarked upon a monthly video series they're calling "Stay Home America," and last we saw, they dove in with covers of Beach House and Kavinsky. Well, on Monday, the 'Toothies updated their YouTube page with the latest installment in their series: a cover of British indie poppers The xx's tune "Fiction."

As you'll notice above, Milktooth seems to have upgraded their production a bit with this latest video — the lighting cues are a nice touch. Also, I personally prefer Milktooth's version, but feel free to form your own opinion by watching The xx perform "Fiction" after the jump. You can also stream all of Milktooth's covers below, or purchase them for any price you like at their Bandcamp page. - Patrick Rodgers, Nashville Scene

"Cincinnati City Beat (MidPoint Festival preview)"

On their eponymous debut EP and on stage, Milktooth exhibit an astonishing musical range. The Nashville trio displays a frenetic Indie Rock aspect blended with a tendency to drift into arty atmospherics that suggest Radiohead, only to blast right back with the unhinged passion of Iggy Pop. The pointman for Milktooth’s attack is David Condos, who shifts easily from seductive croon to soul-selling anguish to snake-handling fervor in a wide-eyed blink (witness their Nick Cave-wilting version of David Bowie’s “Cat People”). Give them two songs and Milktooth will own you, body and damaged soul.

You’ll Dig It If You Dig: The Strokes and Marah drink Mason jar moonshine and see God, who looks amazingly like Jeff Buckley. (Brian Baker) - Brian Baker, City Beat

"Nashville Scene (Critic's Pick)"

In an age of genre revivalism and postmodern blips and bleeps, Belmont-BMOC college rockers Milktooth are an unabashed band of their own time. That case is closed by the monthly video series “Stay Home America,” in which the band captures itself covering Aughts and au courant indie-rock favorites by contemporary influences like Beach House and The xx. If those artists, and others like Arcade Fire, The National, Broken Social Scene, Interpol and The Walkmen, fly your fancy (along with a healthy helping of unapologetic U2 appreciation), then look forward to spreading Milktooth’s latest EP Wild Before Your Eyes’ seven anthemic tracks across your Spotify playlists. The band swings for the stadium rock fences with Babe Ruth-worthy ease on standouts like the earnest “The Gate,” the Joshua Tree-on-safari tribal epic “Laredo!” and the driving rocker “In My Blood.”
—Adam Gold
- Adam Gold, Nashville Scene

"Performer Magazine (Feature Article)"

For a city as musically prolific as Nashville, there is an ironic homogeneity present in the artists and labels that garner the majority of acclaim outside of Davidson County. Perhaps it's simple economics: Music City has been a country, Christian and, to a lesser extent, rock, hit-making machine for so many generations that the marketplace of music fandom expects nothing more from the city - despite its diverse and overwhelming reservoir of talent. Sure, Paramore and Kings of Leon have improved Nashville's one-note image, but careful observers can't help but wonder if the city's vibrant indie scene will ever crawl out from the domineering, slick-music shadow.

Milktooth, a trio whose melodic blend of cathartic noise-pop that NPR recently dubbed "mesmerizing," are extraordinarily familiar with this dynamic. Prior to crafting their current sound, Ian Leach (guitars), Noah Denney (drums/percussion) and Michael Ford Jr. (bass, recently departed from MT) performed as the backing band for frontman David Condos and his radio-friendly solo material. The affable crooner had no sooner accepted his diploma from Belmont - the same university that counts country powerhouses Brad Paisley and Tricia Yearwood as alumni - before his music was being licensed in big budget film and reality TV. It nudged Condos inches closer to Nashville's holy grail, the ability to pay bills with songs.

From 2005 to 2008, the David Condos band was immersed in Nashville's commercial ebullience, playing major label showcases, gaining representation from the high-powered New York law firm owned by Clive Davis' son and touring incessantly with the help of the Agency Group. Despite how robust the aroma of success became, however, the culmination of 2008's Like Wolves EP invited an air of creative change and the increasingly collaborative temperament of the band resulted in a significant departure from Condos' blockbuster sound and aspiration. With the barrier between songwriter and live performers removed, the evolved band was at a liberating crossroads.

"We just wanted to start over in a way. That's why we decided Milktooth was a perfect name for what we were doing coming out of David's solo stuff," says Leach. "The new songs represented a drastic departure musically from his previous material." Leach suggests the name Milktooth could be interpreted as a metaphor for the band's effort to develop an adult set of musical "teeth."

Listening to Milktooth's eponymous, self-released EP and follow-up 7", Halloween in Santa Ana, both released in 2009, it's clear the band worked with great intention to delineate new from old while preserving the best pieces of Condos' compositional sensibility. In the same way a skillful filmmaker deploys a disciplined methodology to create successfully within multiple genres, Milktooth confidently builds upon its known strengths. It dispels the vain urge to shock or confuse Condos' existing fan base by forcing them to imbibe the evocative tonic of change. Continuing a long-standing collaboration with seasoned Nashville producer Tom Laune (R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen), who was behind Condos' Smoking City and Like Wolves releases, the band emphasized their prudence, opting to embrace Laune's trusted guidance rather than shift production duties for the sake of novelty.

The maturity present in the EP's standouts, "Your Arrows" and "Sovereignty," emanates naturally, repudiating any sense that Milktooth is a relatively new band. Sidestepping the assumed missteps of most virginal artists, Milktooth's initial output is cohesive and rich, which is a testament to their shared journey and exacting production aesthetic. Even the EP's cover art, which was beautifully hand-illustrated by Nashville-based Lauren Rolwing, indicates the band's deliberate effort to produce something textured and archetypal; a brand more than a band.

"Quality over quantity is a dying model that we adhere to very strictly," says Leach. "Our biggest challenge is figuring out how to connect with fans who are increasingly impatient and overstimulated." Speaking about Milktooth's decision to record to an old 16-track tape machine, the answer was no less measured. "We were trying to get across a point," says Leach. "Departure, newness, freshness - we wanted to communicate the direction we were headed, with no confusion that we were now a band. I wanted to make a record that sounded big and warm and natural, just lived-in. Not too overproduced and polished with 500 Pro Tools tracks." Condos elaborates, "We definitely made some conscious decisions when we set out to record the EP. Aside from using the tape machine, we also wanted the songs to have more of a 'live' feel, so we recorded the basic parts together, with very few overdubs coming later. Both decisions forced us to think of ways to simplify things and focus on making each track really count."

Having slept just feet from one another as roommates at Belmont, the familial dynamic between Co - Performer Magazine

"Dallas Observer (Critic's Pick)"

Tennessee's Milktooth play infectious indie pop that reminds me of Cincinnati's Pomegranates. Both bands feature singers who can go from a whisper to a scream in about two seconds and both acts also take the "indie" part of indie-pop seriously. Check out Milktooth's "Your Arrows" as it presents the band's strength most succinctly. Dallas' own Hello Lover incorporate a bit more metal and punk into their material; such should set them apart from the SXSW-bound headliner quite nicely. - Darryl Smyers, Dallas Observer

"Stereo Subversion (Milktooth EP review)"

There’s something new and strange in the Nashville water supply. Rather than begetting a typical batch of country-laden pop, the famed Tennessee town is undergoing some sort of musical revolution. Local bands from the area are adopting a sound that all but abandon their honky-tonk roots: bands such as electronic act Paper Route and now, alt-rock act Milktooth, distinguish themselves with each note in a manner that could only make the Portland, Omaha, and New York music scenes blush with approval, if not outright jealousy.

On the opening and closing tracks of Milktooth's debut extended player, the recorder captures the sound of the band starting up and shutting down, emulating a live studio session. As for the set list itself, the six tracks presented here are essentially six songs of howling. With a fiery intensity that recalls Room On Fire-era Strokes, Condos wails and moans so loudly that even Julian Casablancas would probably feel belittled. Condos’ wavering voice is supported by an all out assault of bracing bass lines, crunchy guitar riffs, pounding drums, and throbbing synths, altogether painting an uneasy, menacing mood. This is music that is meant to rock your senses and shake you to the core. They’re simply a good band with good ideas. -

"Listen Nashville (live show review)"

Nashville-based indie artist David Condos' new project called Milktooth officially released their new 6-song EP Saturday night (June 13, 2009) to a packed house at The Basement.

Milktooth is a guitar-driven quartet led by the haunting melodies of accomplished singer-songwriter David Condos. Their songs are bathed in reverb and filled with glorious moments of tension/release that find Condos humming quietly one moment and screaming at the top of his lungs the next. For songs like "If No One Ever Stops Me" and "Diviner's Mouth," Condos accompanies himself on a vintage Wurlitzer, producing a delicious low-fi sound reminiscent of The Doors or early Modern Lovers recordings. The night's highlight, however, was the performance of "If No One Ever Stops Me," which finds Condos singing, playing keys, and percussion simultaneously--amazing stuff.

Condos' new band is outstanding and on par with early KOL and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. It's unclear at this point whether Milktooth is merely a side-project for Condos or something he'll continue to push. I hope it's the latter.

-Vincent Wynne, Listen Nashville (6/15/09) -


Still working on that hot first release.



-- Milktooth finished in the top 5 out of 100 bands selected by Sonicbids to compete in Jansport's SXSW Battle of the Bands! --

After spending much of the band's short history touring the US (with stops in L.A., Seattle, Austin, Portland & Chicago), lending their music to TV & quickly earning a reputation for their haunting arrangements & blistering live performances, Milktooth returned home to Nashville, TN to record their latest EP, Wild Before Our Eyes.

The young indie rock band also recently garnered worldwide attention for their innovative web series Stay Home America when Beck shared their music video for a song from his latest release, Song Reader, with his Facebook/Twitter following of over one million fans. This praise helped the video grab 8,000+ views, along with 300+ retweets/shares, within hours of its release.

Milktooth's sound has been hailed as "mesmerizing" by NPR, "vast & unexpected" by New York Minute Magazine & "infectious" by The Dallas Observer & has drawn comparisons to such critical darlings as The Walkmen, Arcade Fire & Wild Beasts. Wild Before Our Eyes was produced by Tom Laune (R.E.M., Alex Chilton) & mastered in Montreal, QC by Harris Newman (Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade).