Are you familiar with Boston, MA's should-be-legends Miltown? Frequent Aversionline readers got a taste of my over-the-top fanboy enthusiasm for their work—specifically the unreleased album from 1998, Tales of Never Letting Go (a.k.a. the single greatest unreleased album in the history of recorded music)—earlier this year. For those still (painfully) unaware, the band existed for an all-too-brief few years during the mid- to late-'90s and featured the mighty Jonah Jenkins (Only Living Witness, Milligram, Raw Radar War, The Northern Skulls) on vocals, and both guitarists—Brian McTernan and Matt Squire—had previously spent time in Ashes and Battery and remain quite successful producers. But that's just trivia. Miltown's music is what truly matters.
If I believed in a higher power, I'd tell you that my prayers have finally been answered. It appears that Miltown quietly uploaded most of their discography—that is to say, pretty much everything that's not owned by the complete fuckin' idiots at Warner Bros.—to Bandcamp ahead of their reunion shows with Cave In this weekend. I've never purchased, downloaded, and backed up to Dropbox—all the while nearly suffering an excitement-fueled heart attack, I might add—any audio files faster in my entire life. Especially given the fact that amongst these masterpieces is a 10-track set of demos laid down at McTernan's Salad Days Studio that comprises a good chunk of material that would have been represented on the aforementioned Tales of Never Letting Go:
This is quite literally one of the best things that has ever happened on the internet. I'm pretty sure only one of these songs ("Can't Leave Home") has ever been officially released, and some—such as "Tree Streets," which had a few of its lyrics reused in The Northern Skulls' "Art Thief"—had never even leaked before. And they're all excellent, every single one. "Unraveling," in particular, has become one of my all-time favorite songs over the years.
If you've heard any of the Warner Bros. recordings that have snuck onto YouTube somehow or another, a handful of these Salad Days demos are actually better. There are definitely some slight variances in the layering and performances here and there, so they're certainly worth taking the time to explore:
- "Lost Sleep for Weeks" (This version is my personal preference.)
- "Never Get Out of the Boat" (Titled "Even as We Speak" above.)
- "America Through a Windshield"
I think the only leaked track that the Salad Days sessions seem to miss, sadly, is the absolutely stunning "Esperanto," but you can at least hear that on YouTube. [Edit: Holy shit! Between the time that I wrote this and early this morning, "Esperanto" is now on Bandcamp, too!!!]
As if that weren't enough, though, you can also grab Miltown's EP tracks:
And a set of four killer covers, three of which were previously unreleased:
I'm depressingly sure that I'll die with the unfulfilled dream of the Warner Bros. recordings being properly released, but... fuck it. Miltown's remaining discography being made available in any high-quality audio format such as this is a momentous occasion. I'm so ridiculously shocked and excited by all of this. If there's any chance in hell that the band can manage to do a little something more beyond the two reunion shows, whew... look out!