If the Milk & Honey Band seems to stir echoes of the
latter day XTC, there’s little wonder.
Mentored by one of that band’s mainstays, Andy Partridge – and recorded
under the auspices of his Ape Records – the band’s blend of gentle pastoral pop
and dreamy psychedelia bear all the same elements enveloped in XTC’s later
recordings. And considering the fact that
Partridge and company appear to be on indefinite hiatus at the moment, this,
the Milk & Honey Band’s third official opus, provides a good quick
fix. Nevertheless, its been five years
since this group’s last effort, and in the interim they’ve evolved from being
basically a one man operation in the person of singer/songwriter Robert White,
to a more cohesive unit via the additions of multi-instrumentalists Richard
Yale and Michael Tubbs.
Happily then, Dog
Eared Moonlight offers more of the same sweet, sedate sounds purveyed in
their two earlier offerings, something akin to Sunday morning music for those
inclined to meander the day away.
There’s sheer effervescent beauty in the quiet circumspect of songs like
“Flowers,” “”No World at All” and “Disappear,” and something of a surge in
“Waste of Time” and “Cut the Line,” making the word “overwhelming” all but
absent from the band’s vocabulary.
White’s seemingly found his groove — such as it is, — and while his
mood may have seemed darker from dissatisfaction early on, he’s clearly
drifting towards more surreal set-ups now.
Standout tracks: “Cut the Line,” “”Absolutely Wrong” LEE ZIMMERMAN