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Preview: Milk Music 

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the band coming to Siberia June 26

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Buried in the dozen song titles of Cruise Your Illusion (Fat Possum) is a perfectly applicable short-story abstract for Milk Music's debut LP: "Runaway Wild Caged Dogs Feeling Illegal and Free Cruising Crosstown On Coyote Road" (and that's without using God, Love, Shelter, Wanderer and, once more for good measure, Dogchild). Before ever dropping the needle, it's clear founding brothers Alex Coxen (vocals, guitar) and Joe Rutter (drums) won't be pent up by anything — not the city limits of hometown Olympia, Wash., and its Calvin Johnson-penned history of remote pop-and-hiss rock; and certainly not the shackles of expectation and genre, as the band proved after initial dispatch Beyond Living. That 2010 EP riffed on first-wave melodic muckrakers Dinosaur Jr and Portland, Ore.'s Wipers, but Cruise Your Illusion pops the lock and decompresses the mix, pushing Coxen's great, terrible vocals right to the edge, allowing Charles Waring's lead guitar plenty of room to luxuriate in balletic several-minute solos. At least three tracks ("Caged Dogs Run Wild," "Crosstown Wanderer," "Coyote Road") exist entirely as a means for Waring's six-string to sing itself to distraction, each abandoning its epic post before the two-minute mark. Such flakiness is forgiven when the actual feats of strength live up to billing: "Illegal and Free," "Cruising With God" and "I've Got a Wild Feeling" pile on electric fuzz and key-stretching lead singing, their flubbed notes and live-to-tape production giving the distinct impression of an improvised classic. When Coxen deadpans "Let's steal a car" in the middle of moonlit sonata "Lacey's Secret," he'll have you calling shotgun, convinced the wind really is calling him by name. Destruction Unit opens. Tickets $10. — Noah Bonaparte Pais


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