Mildura - With Change [EP] (Cover Artwork)


With Change [EP] (2016)

Ronald Records

Nearly two years since their last EP If Not Okay, self-described "capo-core" Mildura returns with their latest twinkle rock record: With Change. Known for their sparkling guitar riffs and Nick Giunta's quietly chaotic harmonies, Mildura maintains its soft rock roots whilst also boldly cultivating a more aggressive, guitar-driven sound. This evolution in sound comes as no surprise with the addition of Evan Dykes on lead guitar for this release. Dykes' tenure amongst various southern California groups (pop-punk jam basket Karoshi Boy, emo super group I'm Glad It's You, and the distorted sounds of Treeshaker) proved an invaluable education in rock and roll that melts together sweetly with Giunta's acoustic structures and melodies.

Each song in this EP illustrates a disenchantment with the present - a comparison to earlier days when times were easier and people were closer. Whether its a physical change or a spiritual one, there are very specific hallmarks of life represented on this record that serve to underscore Giunta's growing malaise of adulthood. From losing your childhood home, to a growing cynicism of your appearance, With Change documents a distinct struggle for youth when faced with the menacing immediacy of age.

In spite of the lyrics however, there is something so triumphant about this record. While earlier releases were punctuated by often somber acoustic tracks, With Change barrels through its 13 minute run-time in a roar of bright guitar licks and head-bobbing drum patterns. There's a percussive quality in each of these songs that meshes in a bold cacophonous declaration of purpose. Augmenting the lyrics in this way lends a confidence to them that highlights not just Giunta's acknowledgement of his reality, but his growing acceptance of it as well.

If the impressionist inspired cover art is an indication of anything, it's of the new direction this band is taking. The wash of vibrant colors on the landscape sharply contrast with the bleak and monochromatic covers of previous records. By removing the photography element, Mildura are able to envision a brighter future - one that is not hindered by the medium or the boundaries of nature.

The past will always be the past, but the future changes depending on how you look at it. Adjusting to these changes and accepting their inevitability is a central part of life, and it is explored with no greater care than on this record.