Joe Jack Talcum at Razorcake

I confess: I am not, nor have ever been, a Dead Milkmen fan. I mention this because Joe Jack Talcum is the guitarist and a vocalist in the revered satirist punk outfit from Philadelphia. Being unfamiliar with the Milkmen’s albums has allowed me to be objective when listening to this collection. Ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised. The songs are lo-fi, which accents Talcum’s breathy voice: Imagine shutting your eyes while behind the wheel of your car, the windows cracked open so that a hiss of air blows pass your ears. Daniel Johnston and Kimya Dawson are obvious comparisons; however, Talcum’s songs are less disjointed and agonized, rather more assured and sardonic. Talcum practically hums over foreboding organ notes on one of the LP’s most haunting moments, “Go.” The songs meander into each other like a daydream until the instrumental, “Sweet and Sour,” and “Be My Property” interrupt the slow tempos with electric guitar and hard-hitting drums. B Side opener and highlight “Another Time” is a contemplative folk song in the vein of Elliott Smith and the musicians of label K Records, while “Forever Expanding Dream” is as meditative as the title suggests. Home Recording’s is bedtime listening that will infiltrate your dreams with its understated melodies and blanket you with its warmth. –Sean Arenas

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