Thursday, 30 October 2014

EP Review - Millar Jukes and The Bandits

by Millar Jukes and The Bandits

We were first introduced to the music of Millar Jukes in February when our good friend Lou did a review of the track 'Maryanne'. Lou loved the vintage party starting vibes and the, "sexy guitar and thumping drums." Now, I'm not the blues-iest of fellows, but I was definitely digging Jukes' voice and the music The Bandits as a whole were selling so when we were informed of the release of the Millar Jukes and The Bandits EP, I was keen to see what else this talented group of musicians could come up with. 

"I can't feel this heart of mine, left me reeling when you left me behind. I couldn't believe that you could do me wrong, I couldn't believe that you could up and gone." Let's start at the end, the last track 'You Ain't Mine.' This is one mighty fine alt-country ballad that provides the perfect showcase for the vocal talents of Scottish-born/now Melbourne's own, Millar Jukes. The story is suitably heartbreaking, a requirement for country music since it's the music of pain. While it might not exactly cover any new territory (love lost, love is now with another dude dang nabbit), Jukes' emotional performance, the subtle accompaniment and flashes of Jasmin Fiske's voice on back up makes 'You Ain't Mine' a song you won't soon forget. This would have to be a standout moment at one of the band's live shows. It's certainly the standout moment on the EP. 

It's not all about the ballad though. We've got four upbeat, energetic tracks on Millar Jukes and The Bandits as well; 'Love Me All Night', 'Maryanne', 'Be Mine' and 'Out of Time'. There's harmonica breakdowns courtesy of Jukes, some truly excellent guitar work from Matt Sandilands and there's just a whole lot of fun. Lou was completely right in describing Millar Jukes and The Bandits' music as exactly what you'd want playing when you're surrounded by a group of friends and a bottle or five of whiskey. I've adapted that, slightly, but you're picking up what I'm putting down.

Let's apply the five songs on the Millar Jukes and The Bandits EP to those five whiskey bottles at the party, shall we? 'Love Me All Night' is the excitement of the night beginning. Everyone arriving, first drinks poured and all the catch up conversations getting done and dusted early. Whiskey bottles consumed... 1. 'Maryanne' is when the music gets cranked up a whole lot louder and this means there will be dancing. It's all about the fun. Whiskey bottles consumed... 2. 'Be Mine' is when the very best of friends start reminiscing about all the good times from days gone by. There's a cute couple slow dancing because this is a pretty cute love song. Most of the group is sitting down and getting comfortable because they're beyond tipsy. Whiskey bottles consumed... 3. 'Out Of Time' is getting that second wind. Your house is suddenly hosting a hoedown. The dancing might be terrible, but no one cares. You're having too much fun again. Whiskey bottles consumed... 4. 'You Ain't Mine.' You're drunk. Go home. Your friends have heard your sad stories way too many times. No more whiskey for you. Whiskey bottles consumed... 5. 

Of course, you can't compress a whole night into 25 minutes. Nor should you and a small-ish group of friends drink five bottles of whiskey in such a short time. That's crazy talk. What you should do though, is give the Millar Jukes and The Bandits EP a listen. That's what we call not crazy talk. And you get to enjoy some great music too. 

Matt Bond gives Millar Jukes and The Bandits four Beatles heads out of five... 

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