I’ve yet to read the book or see the movie, but recently I’ve found myself in a lot of conversations about The Hunger Games. Turns out plenty of people have opinions about the young-adult fiction…primarily, how much it mirrors the Japanese book/novel Battle Royale. What this has lead to, at least for me over the past week, are discussions about originality versus borrowing, creative adjustment versus theft.
Maybe the idea was in my head because of The Hunger Games, but when I first glanced over the tracklist for Kyoto-band Noise And Milk’s Rescue Common Life, I clicked on over to my iTunes and searched for “Cajun Dance Party.” This Japanese outfit has a song called “Next Untouchable,” which is an article away from being the same name as the breakout single of one-time-English-indie-saviors Cajun Dance Party. It’s not a cover – but Noise And Milk take a lot of moves from (surprise!) The Strokes on that song, and from an assortment of other outfits over the brief course of Rescue Common Life. Which brings us back to that opening paragraph – lack of originality, or impressive study ability?
Noise And Milk’s influences come off as obvious on this release…they do sound a lot like Cajun Dance Party on the song “A Moment Lost In Gain”…but they also sound really good doing it. The aforementioned “Lost In Gain” and closer “Singapore” feature the same immediate guitar-pop satisfaction hoards of British bands in the mid-Oughts possessed, now-bargain-bin dwellers like The Pigeon Detectives and Robbers On High Street. If “Singapore” came out seven years ago from a rag-tag bunch of moppets from Brighton, they’d make the cover of NME. Here, it’s just a really catchy rock number.
Elsewhere, the title track opens with insufferable Oasis-lite acoustic babbling before exploding into fuzzy noise and resembling, uhhhh, louder (better) Oasis. “Dirt,” meanwhile, steals the show by being a sludgy, nearly seven-minute-long downer that sucks you into its world and takes you under with it. Noise And Milk’s sonic influences aren’t tough to figure out…but they aren’t just Xeroxing this EP into the world. Listen below.
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