Mil Mulliganos – Flavor Country Firefight

Mil Mulliganos
Flavor Country Firefight

I’ve been listening to Flavor Country Firefight quite a bit since Nathan, our esteemed music reviewer sent it in for my opinion. This Chicago band – which contains, by way of disclaimer, said reviewer – combines elements of aggressive rock with emo and hardcore tinges. But I have it on good authority that no crying was done in the recording of this album, so it can’t be too emo, right?
In fact, Mil Mulliganos sound like they should be from Chicago, the veritable mecca of all things rock. This is really pretty straight-forward rock made modern by some excellent guitar work and unique vocals that remind me, for some reason, of Swedish rockers like Starmarket or Farside. But the music is more in line with bands like Fig Dish with perhaps even doses of Fugazi and the Smashing Pumpkins thrown in for good measure. Still, it sounds unique more than a conglomerate of the above influences.
“Story of the Skin” starts things off with a very light-hearted feel, even adding some backing “woo-woo’s” to give it a more poppy feel, but this isn’t a pop band, as evidenced on the excellent “Strange.” Layers of guitar mix with the vocalist’s sing-song quality that at times gets close to a scream. The band shows off the emo tendencies on songs like “Pajama Party Disaster,” which gets all slow, with some more melodic guitarwork. “Palindrome” is one of those that reminds me of a Fugazi tune, just aggressive and fast-paced but keeping hints of pop or at least melodic sensibilities through lighter guitars and drums. I like when the vocals get all echoed, too. And the next track, “Morocco” reminds me of some of the cooler Fig Dish stuff, with lots of noise guitars but slow, quiet parts too. It contrasts nicely with the much more up-beat “Burnout,” a fast track that overlays the vocals just slightly off for an odd, off-kilter effect. But then something about the slow beginning of “Back In School,” and the repeated “Yeah, walk forwards as we come backwards” gets on my nerves, and I don’t know about “Radio From the Inside.” Perhaps the almost shouted vocals and the slow music doesn’t quite jive with me. Still, this one ends with one of the best bursts of straight-out rock that you’ll hear on this album, and it redeems itself well. “Secret Service (I Wanna Be In)” slows things down and get more poppy and melodic, probably the quietest of the whole album, the vocals really high and nice. And it all finishes up with a killer, “Hunting & Escaping,” which will definitely have you bobbing your head and singing along.
This is really an excellent album, and perhaps my review doesn’t explain it well, because these guys are, self-admittedly, hard to describe. They play power-rock with bits of emo, indie rock, punk and more all thrown in. Fast and furious in parts, slower and more moody in others. It’s all about the rock though, and they do it as well or better than most. Why they’re not touring the country and making millions (or at least McDonald’s money) is beyond me.