Album Reviews Alternative

Memory Milk Move Forward on Ambient Rock EP, ‘Reflections In The Rearview’

Memory Milk create a powerful and emotionally charged listening experience on their latest EP.

Known for their enthralling live performances and unabashed emotional drive, Memory Milk’s latest 4-track EP, Reflections In The Rearview is a culmination of the band’s signature ebb and flow style and portrays a collection of sonic stories that are impossible not to fall in love with.

Comprised of Michael Anthony Garcia, Daniel Brown, Favian Soto, and Ian Vasquez, Memory Milk’s latest EP is a balance of textured analog and electronic exploration. Engineered, mixed, and produced at Machine House Audio by John Rojas, Reflections In The Rearview listens as a moment of gratitude and acceptance of time’s imprint before ultimately moving forward.

It’s a Virtue” opens the EP as a mantra for “better days” and an indication in direction for the collection. The initial wash of calamity from the dreamy electronic sounds set the stage for a powerful second half. It’s a slow, but quick build toward blissful distortion, but remains grounded before the anthemic and explosive vocal performance delivered by Garcia. The crisp refinements and raw vocal echoes strike the balance between their live performances and of a studio recording, representing the band’s own journey.

Eyelids” takes a darker new-wave approach, making it one of the best surprises on the EP. The anxiety-ridden words that are birthed from insomnia mirror the track’s fast tempo and eerie mistrust from the seductively induced arrangement and production. As a heavy hitter on the EP, there are deeper tones in percussion and rhythm, which melt into a puddle of abstract noise. The track’s subdued and anxious start is the chill on a spine that stays throughout the duration of the track, meeting its resolution on the memorable hook, “I’m feeling so restless, I’m sure you guessed this from my eyelids.”

Of all the tracks on the EP, “Older Now” stands out as a sincere and reflective letter of the present, apparent through its poignant lyrics. The track marks a moment of radical acceptance, as there is a shift in perspective from a younger version wanting a seat at the table to its refusal as heard on the memorable and melodic line, “older now, it’s time I step away from the table.” The emotional depth embedded in the song gives the impression that an old friend has come to bittersweetly say goodbye, or possibly an old version of oneself. At a little over six minutes, the track utilizes its time with full, melancholic instrumental breaks that are both heartbreaking and beautiful.

As any reflective moment goes, it couldn’t be complete without addressing the ups and downs of life that are heard on “Tides.” The track bookends “It’s a Virtue” and cleanly closes the EP with an extra dimension of ethereal electronica, trademark instrumentation explosions, lush bass lines, and deep drum fills for a strong finish.

Memory Milk utilizes ambient rock on the EP that builds from an alternative core, making it a dreamy bookmark for a new chapter in the band’s discography. Though not limited to these sounds, Memory Milk has truly found their stride in shoegaze, electronic, and indie. The band moves forward, leaving behind a powerful, emotionally charged listening experience on Reflections In The Rearview.

Catch Memory Milk live April 8, 2023 at Old Towne Pub in Pasadena, CA with Fierce Invalids, Super Steve and Pizza Stains. 21+ and over; $5 cover.

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