Review: Better Off – ‘Milk’

by Deanna Chapman

This month, Better Off released their sophomore album, Milk, via Equal Vision Records. It is their first release on the label and anything but a sophomore slump (I’m starting to think that just might not be much of a thing anymore). The band’s influences are immediately discernible as Brand New, Jimmy Eat World, and the likes. It probably helps that Arun Bali of Saves The Day produced the record, too. Does the band have a similar style to these bands? Of course, but they still put their own spin on it. 

“Empty Handed” starts with a guitar riff that flows into a great hook. It was the right choice for an opening track to grab the listeners attention. I’d like to say this song sets the tone for the album, but this band has so many varying styles that you can’t pinpoint it with just one song. I’ve never been a stickler on what genre a band is or isn’t, so there’s no point in trying to fit Better Off into just one. They’re a good band, plain as that. About halfway through the album you hit “Interlude” and get a nice 92 second dose of hardcore music. You get some acoustic thrown in there with “Unhappy” and the majority of “A Lesson In Loving.” The latter roars into full band mode in the second half of the song and finishes off strong. See what I mean? There’s just too many styles to fit them into one box. 

Honestly, I never felt the need to skip any of the songs on the album and that’s a good sign that the album really is great. “Myself In A Pill” is a solid ending to an album with creative, clever lyrics that manages not to be super cliché or cheesy. This album absolutely lived up to the hype surrounding it for the lest couple months or so. Be sure to give this album a listen. You can pick it up on Amazon or iTunes (or stream it on your service of choice, of course).