Better Off – ‘Milk’ Review

Posted: by Dylan

I honestly thought I couldn’t love Better Off any more than I already did. (I Think) I’m Leaving is one of my favorite records that I own and ‘Meth Head’ and ‘I Was Better 10 Years Ago’ did nothing but get me hella hyped for more music. Let’s be real: two songs just isn’t enough. Milk is easily the band’s ticket into notoriety. From front to back, the album contains nothing but potential radio hits and poignant reminders that rock and roll is far from dead.

The album starts out with the energetic ‘Empty Handed’, a track that can’t help but remind you of Jimmy Eat World’s Bleed American. Better Off have a knack for finding the perfect balance between intense and mellow vibes, which is evident throughout the album, but especially clear in ‘Dresser Drawer’. The song closes out with a slowed-down bridge before building up to a prodigious outro-chorus. They pick the pace right back up and make a statement in ‘Suicide Island’ by calling out politicians who, “Kill my neighbor for nothing. Pain’s not something he’d choose, but we all vote for a noose.”

Next up is the album’s third single, ‘This Day Will Never End’. The song grows in vocal energy as it progresses and ends with the highly relatable sentiment, “This day grows old, but it never ends.” Better Off slow it back down with ‘Unhappy’ and the wonderfully sludgy ‘You’re Alright’ before they mix things up with ‘Interlude’. The short track features some very commendable screamed vocals that make me think of Dave Grohl in all the best ways; you know, the way you imagined him before he started putting out boring dad-rock.

‘Whatever, I Don’t Care’ might be the best song on Milk, maybe even the best released by the band. It’s catchy and hard hitting and I’ve been singing it in the shower all week. I don’t even think my neighbors mind; it rocks that hard. Their dog definitely hates me though.

The rest of the album takes a change of pace, starting out with the mostly acoustic ‘A Lesson in Loving’. The chorus at the end is an epic finale to a highly emotional song and sets the mood for ‘Bella Disorder’ a song eerily spooky and almost reminiscent of Daisy era Brand New. It felt a little out of place from the rest of the tracks during the first listen through, but, having heard it, I’d be pretty pissed off if the band didn’t include the beautifully somber atmosphere it creates. ‘Spinning’ works as a great, mid-tempo transition song before ‘Mary in Chains’, which emulates the straight forward pop-rock Better Off managed so well with previous releases. The album closes with the anthemic ‘Myself in a Pill’, which features a super rad, bluesy guitar solo section before the last chorus.

Considering this is only the sophomore release from Better Off, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of their career. This is a phenomenal album with back-to-back bangers that are sure to build a well-deserved reputation for the band. They’re touring the eastern US throughout October and November with fellow heavy-hitters Pentimento, so you’ve really got no excuse NOT to see them if you’re in the area.

Rating: 9/10
FFO: Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, Brand New