One of the many peculiarities of the English language is that we refer to our first set of teeth as “milk teeth” and so these can be a symbol for childhood and youth, and the inevitable loss of it, just like those wobbly little teeth eventually falling out. From there, it’s an easy line to draw towards National Service‘s new single ‘Milktooth’, a spiraling alternative-rock song about growing up.
The London band have become well known for their intense, contemplative alternative music laced with emotion, spacious guitars, and brooding bass lines. The same applies for this newest work, which utilises a dynamic, intricate percussion, urgent vocals, haunting melodies, frenzied grooves and noodling guitars to portray the chaotic state of the human mind.
Perhaps what gives ‘Milktooth’ such searing intensity and tangible authenticity is that the song arrived after a personally challenging time for one band member, who courageously opens up about it here:
“Milktooth was the first in a rush of songs written after I was signed off on mental health leave from my job as a teacher. Sometimes songs need teased out and cajoled into existence but Milktooth came forth with the force of something that needed to be said. It was more or less the finished form within a day, which rarely happens. I think the chorus lyric is pretty self-explanatory and when I took it to the band to deconstruct and reconstruct it, there was a clear sense that we all resonated with the themes in some manner. It totally epitomises that time in my memory – whenever I listen to it, I’m drawn back to days staring at the wall wondering what to do with my life. It manages to encapsulate that inner storm perfectly – at times it’s aggressive and tenacious at other points it’s subdued and reflective. What’s more, is that when we made the decision to record and mix it all ourselves (mainly due to financial circumstances) it became a testament to the learning journey we’d been on as a band. I think artists tend to shy away from these things for fear of coming across as arrogant or uncool, but for what it’s worth, I think it’s an absolute quality song; one which we’re all very proud of.”
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