I really need to get to Melbourne one of these days. . .

A Melbourne four-piece that fuses even more than Steely Dan, there are enough disco, jazz, space and prog elements to freak out even the most jaded listener. Or so this album would, if these songs weren't so dankly slinky.

(Research Records)

Much like fellow Melbourne-ites King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard, Mildlife throws just about everything in the pot. The execution is smooth, stylish and technically brilliant. And while the final product has a different feel, if the Gizzard boys did more with disco they might, indeed, sound a lot like Mildlife. In any case, those two bans would make quite the Aussie export double bill.

There are only six songs here, but they do go on. The shortest is five minutes, while the longest clocks in at just under nine minutes. Rather than simply ruminate over and over again on the same theme like a mediocre jam band, Mildlife keeps turning up the heat. These songs rarely escape a simmer, but you brain will boil, anyway.

Utterly intoxicating. Mildlife plays music that immediately entrances the ears, but the reason it works is that the band constantly takes chances with its writing and playing. The smooth polish of these songs is belied by the immense effort that must have gone into making them. Making music that sounds this effortless is an almost impossible task. Enthralling would be an understatement.

Jon Worley

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