“If you run with scissors, you’ll get what you deserve” – ‘Brickwork’
Milk Teeth have been running with their sharp sound since 2013, and unsurprisingly, they got what they deserved; a sold out headline slot and a level of fandom which nearly split the floorboards of Camden’s Barfly on Thursday night.
The Stroud four piece threw themselves in to a manic set which sparked a mosh pit, and a brief bout of crowd surfing. They released their debut album Vile Child in January, and fans happily launched around to the sounds of ‘Burger Drop’, ‘Driveway Birthday’, ‘Leona’, ‘Crows Feet’, and latest single ‘Swear Jar (Again)’. ‘Brain Food’ was a riot (the opening feedback being reminiscent of Sonic Youth’s ‘Scooter + Jinx’), and tracks from their 2015 EP, Sad Sack, were met with equal enthusiasm; ‘Melon Blade’ and ‘No Fun’ were undoubtedly set highlights.
Here’s a tip though; if you go to a Milk Teeth gig and you’re ignorant enough to publicly dismiss mental health awareness, expect to (quite rightly) be called out by lead vocalist and bassist, Becky. When one spectator decided to dismiss her efforts to explain the “most personal song” she’d ever written (the deceptively calm, ‘Kabuki’) and highlight the impact of mental illness (1 in 3 of us will be affected by it), she fired back by explaining how his negative reaction re-enforced the stigma surrounding those who seek help for mental illness. Much to the crowd’s elation, guitarist and vocalist Billy told security if this commentator piped up again, they should remove him from the venue. Fans were more than happy to assist, and graciously pointed him out. For those who’ve listened to Vile Child, it’s clear recovering from/living with a mental illness is a seminal influence on Becky’s lyricism, which is why Milk Teeth’s stellar, gutsy noise-rock resonates so poignantly.
Fortunately, this minor show of crowd idiocy was swiftly forgotten, and the band closed their set with ‘Vitamins’, accompanied by a whirl of confetti, balloons, and a re-energised effort from the dwellers in the mosh. As the lights came up, fans stormed to the back of the venue to raid the merch stool of Milk Teeth related treasures. The band will be playing at The Great Escape on the 21st of May, so make sure you catch them before they inevitably become uncatchable.
Support came from Eat Me and Black Foxxes.
Vile Child was released on Hopeless Records, and is available to purchase now.
Photo credit: Andy Watson