The Milk Carton Kids: Monterey (Anti)

 |   |  1 min read

The Milk Carton Kids: Monterey
The Milk Carton Kids: Monterey (Anti)

As their name suggests, the LA duo of Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan are sensitive guys with a strong measure of empathy.

It also cannot go without being said that they evoke the spirit of the Simon and Garfunkel's sensitive, acoustic folk (no more so than on Secrets of the Stars here)  . . . but fewer commentators have referenced the Everly Brothers (S&G's role model) for the gentle interweave of their voices.

This, their third album, had an interesting genesis: They simply sat down facing each other when there was downtime on tours and played through ideas, finishing each others songs and recording them in short sessions onstage before their shows.

There is a considerable amount of hurt and deep reflection in these lyrics, and they come couched in gentle acoustic guitar settings which allow every line and lyric to breathe. And the guitar passages often bring in elements of Tex-Mex influences which add an air of slight exoticism in what could otherwise be rather po-faced ruminations.

If you can -- and you probably can't -- it's worth trying to put aside that Simon and Garfunkel reference point and hear these songs and this duo for what they are.

They are as much of their time as the Everlys and S&G were of theirs, so foreign wars which are taking the young of their generation are alluded to here (Freedom, High Hopes) and a pervading sense of being worn down by the 21st century (Poison Tree).

What MCK miss which was a part of their lineage -- and you'd love to hear them try to deny the Everlys/S&G connection -- is humour, be it wry or sly or subtle.

This is mostly music by very serious young men who sound like they take themselves very seriously. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Sigur Ros; Hvarf/Heim (EMI) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Sigur Ros; Hvarf/Heim (EMI) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

More mysterious loveliness on a double-disc which, in the release schedule of most bands, might have seemed like a stop-gap measure: previously unreleased tracks and rarities, and stripped-back... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Iron and Wine: Kiss Each Other Clean (4AD)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Iron and Wine: Kiss Each Other Clean (4AD)

The previous album The Shepherd's Dog by Texas' Iron and Wine (Sam Beam) was fully three years ago and was one of the Best of Elsewhere 2007 albums. So anticipation is high for this -- although... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Wicked Chicken: soul funk for the barbecue

Wicked Chicken: soul funk for the barbecue

Many years ago Rhino Records -- a reissue label out of LA -- put out a booklet-cum-CD package of old soul and funk with an eating theme, specifically food for barbecues. Tracks on the CDs... > Read more

NEIL FINN AND CROWDED HOUSE (2010): The returning son

NEIL FINN AND CROWDED HOUSE (2010): The returning son

Many, many years ago Neil Finn told me he believed bands, and he was referring to Split Enz at the time, had a natural lifespan. Some years after that – in 2001 when he was well into a... > Read more