Hot Milk – The King & Queen of Gasoline
Released: August 5, 2022
Hannah Mee // vocals, guitar
James Shaw // vocals, guitar, producer
Tom Paton // bass
Harry Deller // drums
If there’s an award for music’s edgiest band of 2022, it’s gotta go to Manchester four-piece Hot Milk. Their latest EP, I JUST WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I’M DEAD is barely a year old, but dual-fronted vocalists Han Mee and Jim Shaw are gearing up for their brand new offering, amidst their heavy international touring schedule. From their UK hometown to the dreamy festival playground of the USA, this band are seizing every opportunity they’ve got coming their way this year. In just under a month they’ll be playing to Australian fans for the very first time, with brand new EP The King & Queen of Gasoline fresh in our ears, preparing ourselves for their maiden voyage down under in September.
If you’ve been following Hot Milk since their debut upon the world in 2019 with Are You Feeling Alive, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to absolutely froth Gasoline. The opening title track took this listener way back to the very first time she stumbled upon this tiny, talented act out of the UK on Spotify one day. An anthem for self-soothing and taming your inner child, ‘The King & Queen of Gasoline‘ is a celebration of the misfits and lonely youth, a concept that is heavily abundant throughout each track.
‘Teenage Runaways‘ sees Han and Jim pick up where they left us with their last EP and their explosive tune ‘Spilt Personality‘. Featuring a hook that feels like you’ve just been injected with an extra dose of adrenaline, this track will have every pop punk kid in the venue stirring up a giant circle pit. And if you thought that’s all Hot Milk had up their sleeve, you haven’t heard their latest single. ‘I Fell in Love With Someone That I Shouldn’t Have‘ is the breakup anthem you didn’t realise you needed. Furthermore, with its gritty, 80s punk-tinged riff and melody, it’s a teaser for what the future of Hot Milk could sound like. Han sounds like a present-day Joan Jett with a subtle taste of the Riot Grrrl era. Honestly, this is sucha huge vibe.
But it’s pretty obvious that Han nor the rest of the band are out to be anyone’s idol. ‘Bad Influence‘ is the track that seemingly proves they’re just out here showing their most authentic selves yet. The very line that induces us into a state of self-loathing – “I’m a just a bad influence you want nothing to do with…” – is the hook that will have you engaged into Hot Milk’s everchanging style as the four-piece fly through the frantic verses and energetic chorus.
One thing that’s always drawn me into this band is their knack for penning raw vulnerability and the truest emotion you’ve ever felt in a song; I’ve said it before but it’s like this band just know what emotions are running wild in my mind at this very moment. ‘The Secret to Saying Goodbye‘ pays homage to their incredible back-catalog of pop punk hits, like ‘Awful Ever After‘, ‘Glass Spiders‘ and ‘Wide Awake‘, with its sugary dose of pop sensibility amidst that crunchy hook-laden chorus. Let’s not forget a beautiful-sounding saxophone bridge to spice up what is easily the highest point of The King & Queen of Gasoline, which idyllically leads into the closing track ‘Chloroform//Nightmares‘. What feels more like an impressive display of Han’s vocal abilities against Jim’s talent as a producer, this track is a taste of the duo’s musical experimentation.
Honestly if you’re a WoS regular and you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a huge supporter of Hot Milk and everything they do. While The King & Queen of Gasoline is only the band’s third EP offering, their insurmountable talent and abundance of tangible hooks and melodies just get better with each release. I probably coulda given this a straight up 10, but I’m saving that for their debut full-length next year. As great a listen as this EP is, Han and Jim are still holding back the very best of what they’ve got. You heard it here first.
Hot Milk – The King & Queen of Gasoline EP tracklisting:
1. The King and Queen of Gasoline
2. Teenage Runaways
3. I Fell In Love With Someone That I Shouldn’t Have
4. Bad Influence
5. The Secret To Saying Goodbye