Monday, July 25, 2016

Local Music Review : Mill's End

Mill's End is a four-piece rock band from Phoenix, Arizona. These fellas released a four-track EP entitled The Swann Sessions in 2015. Their overall sound draws from a lot of different influences and genres. The most obvious influences are probably The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, and the many other classic rock heavyweights. There were also some significant influences from the alt-country and Americana-sphere as well as some bluesy and folky vibes.

While Mill's End did not abandon their country-tinged sound completely, The Swann Sessions (2015) definitely rocks more than it yeehaws. We start off with Keith's Junk which is a straight ahead rock-n-roll song. It has an uptempo, groovy vibe that resembles southern rock more than anything else. Furthermore, the bass on this track is absolutely awesome. During live sets, I can definitely picture the bassist slouched back slappin' the bass.

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Their second effort is Old Man. This song has a laid back, chill, and mildly experimental sound. Even with its calmer sound, it still happens to evoke an old-west, cowboy, standoff vibe. For the most part, it has a ghostly sound, but the mildly scratchy, waning background vocals exemplify the feeling even more. The lyrics take jabs at society's view of the homeless (assuming) as well as our politicians, "people they elect go to Washington / they really don't know how to get these things done / make promises they cannot keep / to the people out in the street."

Three-fourths of the way through, we arrive at Stand. This is a fantastic song and probably my favorite. It starts off with a driving acoustic guitar that transitions into a splendid combination of drums, guitar, and keys. It's a generally catchy song but what tops it off is the fantastic guitar "noodling" roughly halfway through the song. Simple, effective, and highly enjoyable.


Their concluding effort is certainly a rocker. Run And Hide is definitely a Rolling Stones-inspired track. I really, really like how the rhythm and lead guitar coincide so well on this song. The rhythm guitar and bass keep the original groove and melody intact as the lead guitar periodically spits out some sweet, aforementioned Stones-esque guitar licks. At the end, everything comes together as the guitars, bass, drums, and harmonica wrap up this splendid EP.

Mill's End's other releases are equally as good. However, I think they have slowly morphed more into a rock band with Americana/alt-country influences rather than vice versa, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If simple, effective, and easy-listening rock-n-roll if your thing, these guys are for you.

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