“A Call To The Void” – Hot Milk Album Review

Written by on September 16, 2023

Review By Amber Bintliff

Since their first appearance with debut single “Awful Ever After” hit the scene in 2019, British alternative-rock group Hot Milk have proven themselves time and time again to be a force to be reckoned with. Consisting of fronting duo Han Mee and Jim Shaw, as well as bassist Tom Paton and drummer Harry Deller, their dominating presence in the industry was solidified through their hit singles, “Candy Coated Lie$” and “Glass Spiders,” which gathered them both a solid fanbase and millions of streams.

Their long-awaited 2023 debut album titled A Call To The Void presents a heavier, more cutting-edge sound for the band, while still possessing that signature Hot Milk feel to it. With singles like “HORROR SHOW,” “BLOODSTREAM,” and “BREATHING UNDERWATER” released during the summer before the album’s release, fans were teased with the more rock-influenced direction the band took with this record. “HORROW SHOW” was first up in the trio of singles, and made A Call To The Void an album worth anticipating, with its strong guitar-heavy opening and Mee’s dark, electrifying vocals. This one was the real stand-out in terms of pre-releases to me, as the song perfectly captured the core of the album and set the scene for this new era of Hot Milk.

While exploring the process behind the record in an interview with Rock Sound, both Mee and Shaw agreed that this new sound was the direction they always saw Hot Milk taking on since the beginning. Shaw stated, “We’ve always talked about being a bit heavier and a bit screamier… That’s the music we’ve always loved. It would be a disservice to ourselves if we didn’t explore these avenues because of what people might think.” They also commented on the differences between making an EP versus a full-length album, noting that there was more room for experimentation and creative freedom on A Call To The Void than on the previous EPs.

This album has quickly made its way into becoming a staple in my listening rotation. My favorite track lies at number seven titled “OVER YOUR DEAD BODY,” which follows the very angry Mee and Shaw, with lyrics expressing the feeling of being betrayed by someone close to you. This one perfectly combines the new element of a heavier, sharper sounding rock track with that same old pop-punk groove.

The closing track of the album, “FORGET ME NOT,” was added to the album almost last minute after the passing of Shaw’s grandfather, and serves as the perfect closing to this body of work. Its haunting beat and melancholy lyrics take the listener on a journey of coming to terms with grief, as well as the overall existential crisis theme of the album.

A Call To The Void is a stand-out debut record that I hope will take Hot Milk to even higher levels of success than they’ve previously seen. It’s like a breath of fresh air in the music scene and proves itself as one of the most cohesive and well-thought out first albums from anyone in a long time. One can only dream that an actual existential crisis sounds as good as this album does.

Image from Amazon.com