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Boomkat Product Review:
Midlake's Milkmaid Grand Army EP originally surfaced at the tail end of 2001 as a limited edition US-only release. Once the initial 1000 copies had depleted, the EP disappeared, and this reissue six years on marks its first return to official circulation. Boasting seven tracks over a twenty-five minute stretch, you might consider this as more of a mini LP than an EP, and it certainly feel like a pretty major, fully realised work. Throughout Milkmaid Grand Army the band wear their influences on their collective sleeve: 'She Removes Her Spiral Hair' is a frothing brew of crisply overdriven drums, piercing organ and Radiohead-like guitar and vocal match-ups. There's certainly a case to be made for a comparison to countrified experimenters Grandaddy too, something underlined by the band's ability to combine FM rock templates with more ambitious sounds. The studio doodle 'I Lost My Bodyweight In The Forest' for instance is suggestive of more exploratory inclinations, beyond the usual rock band preoccupations. The Thom Yorke influence becomes evident once again on 'Roller Skate (Farewell June)' which marries Casio keyboard drum sounds with some memorable hooks, only for 'Golden Hour' to round the disc off with a feel that's got an oddly specific Sparklehorse-producing-Rufus Wainwright feel.