February 6, 2004
CHALLENGER [I]GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT IN LETHAL DOSES[/I] REVIEW
Not content with being in one of the Midwest’s best post-punk indie rock combos, Milemarker's Dave Laney and Al Burian put their day job on hold to bring us a second amazing band. Where Milemarker is a textured, almost operatic prog-influenced math rock combo complete with keyboards and a female voice, Challenger is a more straight ahead pop-core power trio with a sound more reminiscent of Bullet Lavolta, early Jawbox or other late 1980s Dischord records than the Floyd meet Fantômas of Milemarker. Free of the expectations and inherent weirdness that distinguishes Milemarker, Laney and Burian, along with drummer Timothy Remis, keep things as simple as they possibly can. Of course with these guys in command, simple is a relative term. But consider that only one song breaks the five-minute mark and the total running time of this ten-track disc is four minutes shorter than Milemarker's seven-song, 41-minute Anaesthetic EP. Naturally the angst and power that are hallmarks of the Milemarker sound as well as that band's cryptic lyrical content can be heard in abundance and the resulting sound while definitely less fussy, is no less interesting.
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