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

The Cure: Disintegration, DeLuxe Edition (Universal)

The Cure: Disintegration, DeLuxe Edition (Universal)

Many of us preferred The Cure when they were gloomy and gothic, carving out odd little masterpieces on albums like Seventeen Seconds (1980) and Pornography ('82). Basically when frontman Robert... > Read more

Eels: Wonderful, Glorious (Universal)

Eels: Wonderful, Glorious (Universal)

Mark Everett (aka Eels) has written albums about family death/illness (not as bleak as that sounds, but dark nonetheless), knows his way around an uplifting pop song and on Hombre Loco (2009)... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST MUSICIAN SAM PREBBLE writes about his South Pole project

GUEST MUSICIAN SAM PREBBLE writes about his South Pole project

Imagine: you’re at a party, and you’re talking about whatever it is you like to talk about at parties – your children, probably, or how you don’t understand music or... > Read more

Portico Quartet: Isla (Real World/Southbound)

Portico Quartet: Isla (Real World/Southbound)

This second album by the British quartet confirms why they are one of the most interesting things on the British improv/jazz scene: and not because they are fiery adrenalin-infused post-bop... > Read more