Breaking All the House Rules Until Your Head Cracks Open


Harvey Milk are what you get when a college-town metal trio opts for playing the altie pits over frat beer bashes. Such bands make no money and women shun them—but they do make seven-inch split singles swept up by sweaty hermits who store them in boxes where, under no circumstance, are they ever to be listened to.

More University of Georgia post-football-game orgies would have done the trick, wringing these guys of some of the Leatherface noise that attracts such fans. Flying chairs aimed at the head focus the mind on the classic riffs over underground cred every time.

“Fray-bird!” the sodden 280-pound Bulldog tackle shouts, and instead of giving in to the urge to play something from the Meat Puppets’ In a Car, by golly, you play something pentatonic and familiar.

But don’t go thinking Harvey Milk’s The Singles is an absolute loss, because the music-major guitarist saves the day. Maybe his heart just wasn’t into a complete surrender to pigfuck. Or maybe he just really liked Robert Fripp slumming on King Crimson’s Ladies of the Road.

So, once you filter out the little bit of Texas Chainsaw Massacre singer and lock onto the leaden trudge and titles, HM are Budgie, only a little more angry and speechless. “Her Mouse Gets My Dander Up” and “I Do Not Know Hot to Live My Life” show a talent in the same vein as “In the Grip of a Tyrefitter’s Hand” and “She Used Me Up (and Threw Me Back Down).”

As a bonus, “Easy Thing” furnishes an arena ballad cut-to-order for people who loathe such things, and the recording closes with a friendly traditional mock of Ritchie Blackmore.

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