The Denver-based sextet Milquetoast & Co. are musical chameleons. For the uninitiated, expect a classical string section and top-notch vocals that make tracks like their newest single, “Done/Undone,” a genre-bending experiment in active listening. With lyrics that are at once poetic and brutally honest, Milquetoast & Co. kicks off a new era with a powerful song that demands reflection.
Milquetoast & Co. brings to the table an aural identity that is louder and prouder than just about any modern alt-rock band imaginable. A collective voice such as this does not stem from trying to create music that falls within one genre, but can come only from the faithful and fearless following of one’s own ears and musical intuition.
“Done/Undone,” the band’s latest single, is a composition that informs itself musically from past Americana-infused rock music, which gives it that much more artistic authority as it helps lead the way for modern alternative rock. A major strength of the sextet is their informed sense of harmony that nods to the likes of classic bands such as Alice in Chains. The chords on their own tell a story, which is a rare trait to discover in underground artists. Many of the classic elements are there: driving bass lines with heavy highs and lows, distorted guitars, and their signature string section to provide contrast that helps level the listener’s focus, bringing the singer into the light. This is where the vocals shine.
James McAndrew’s voice soars while still maintaining the body that helps bring the lyrics of bleak vagueness right in front of the audience so we are forced to interpret them. This technique combined with a mixture of strong imagery provokes a massive feeling, but without the ability for us to really put our finger on it. “Done/Undone” undoubtedly stretches the alternative rock genre to new lengths, and only time will tell what Milquetoast & Co. will accomplish as their voice only continues to grow.
“Done/Undone” Written by James Austin McAndrew, Daniel Thomas Zangari Jr., Kyle Bocchierik, Joseph Engel Produced by James McAndrew/Milquetoast & Co. Mixed by Andy Flebbe
Calling itself Milquetoast & Co. (pronounced milk toast and company), this Denver-based sextet mingles high-intensity, angular elements of Americana with equal parts rock and blues and a touch of pomp and pageantry. Their songs tell the tales of life; embracing the joy and sorrow of complex human relationships while tipping a well-tailored cap to the moments of beauty and irreverence we all share. Originally based in Boston, Milquetoast & Co. self-released three albums prior to parting ways for a series of “it seemed like a good idea at the time” reasons, from parenthood to world travel. Waiting for the time and circumstances to be right, the band re-established itself, deep in the heart of the Rockies. Now, with a fully re-formed lineup, Milquetoast & Co. are picking-up where the love affair left off.