Milemarker, a now German (previously based in the US) industrial, future-influence, borderline cyberpunk band has come back from the dead. That is to say, after a decade, they’re back with a new release –Overseas. The album is like a piece of the gritty future, sent back for the people of today to study carefully. The verdict? The future may not be so bright.
Let’s just rip the bandage right off –Overseas has few if any redeeming qualities. The album is about as average as could be, before being outright bad. The edgy tech-goth vibes don’t really jive and most songs sound like a less imaginative Nine Inch Nails knockoff. That said, having taken a peak at Milemarker’s previous releases, I don’t really think the band is venturing too far from a tried and true method, but something has declined.
“Conditional Love,” the opening track, is a rough start. The song takes more than thirty seconds to get going, and when it does, the onslaught of percussive strikes, distortion, and synths absolutely overwhelm. The vocals are left to instrumentation –anything worth noting in the lyrics is obscured by the rest of the track. Sadly this is the status quo and many songs suffer a similar fate. Often times, Overseas will have you thinking, “Well if there were a little more ____” but it never comes. Milemarker tries time and time again bust consistently fails.
Overall, Overseas is generally uninteresting music. A lot of the songs sound similar and predictable, while others are so littered with a barrage of instruments, that it makes it difficult to pick out individual voices, let alone try to enjoy any particular part. Every track seemed to add another instrument. Aside from that, most songs are a lengthy four to six minutes. They are too involved to be worthy of being shoegazey and too simple to stay interesting for so long. It’s an exhausting experience.
If there’s anything worth noting, it’s that Overseas is thematic and interesting in that it’s thematic. Listening to the album inspires a bit of wonder about the world you’re seemingly transported to. If this were the soundtrack to some cheesy reboot, it would be that much more accessible. As is, Overseas is, at best, purely atmospheric.
If you’re looking for your cyberpunk soundtrack, Milemarker has you covered with Overseas. Aside from this, it’s hard to justify Overseas. The album is clamorous and sounds persistently unfortunate. It’s not terrible, but it’s not too likable either –a mild release.