Millencolin - True Brew (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


True Brew (2015)

Epitaph Records

Millencolin fans are always waging wars, pitting so many of their records against each other. You'd expect no less regarding a band that isn't ever really afraid to mix things up. They always create waves and buzz as they continually shake their modus operandi and play outside their comfort zone. Millencolin love to explore and take risks; and whether you like their style or not, in jumping in and out of these sandboxes, there's a certain level of respect to be gained. What True Brew represents however is a band that's managed to reconcile the best snippets off each album and bombard you with nothing short of punk goodness. True Brew recaptures the original essence of the band as well as any magic these veterans have picked up on the ride over the past few years.

It's one of their biggest statements to date and comes as no surprise given how much praise or flack they've garnered per album. They're very versed in the punk game and by now, it's this experience that makes how well-honed these 13 tracks are come as no surprise. There are countless massive hooks, melodic riffs and an overall punk-anthem feel to so many tracks. "Sense & Sensibility" is the standout track on the record, indicative of everything I just mentioned, and it's a much-appreciated socio-political rallying cry against racism. Many of the tracks follow this same vein, some lyrically (see "Believe In John") but more so musically -- in terms of being catchy, honest, personal, and overall wiser jams. Of course, a few bangers do have cheesy lyrics but hey, what'd ya expect from Millencolin? They're unafraid as usual and always up for shooting the immature shit. One of their endearing factors, right?

That said, "Bring You Home" is another tight jam as well as the self-titled track, which slows the tempo down a bit with a much poppier tinge. In fact, it's a significant example of how True Brew announces itself as one of their best balanced albums to date from these stalwarts of punk. You've got pop-punk, skate-punk as well as straightforward punk all embedded in measured doses. And the result? They combine amazingly to remind you why you fell in love with them in the first place. I personally felt the connection I had with "No Cigar" years ago and I guess it's because this album feels simple, free and truly pans out as their most expressive in quite some time. Some would say the boys are back but I'd keep it less cheeky and end with a simpler, much more diplomatic stance.

Millencolin have returned to form. Enjoy. I can't see many punk albums outdoing this this year.