I don’t tend to believe in the concept of guilty pleasures, but J-pop group M!LK’s discography would likely fit within that category for most. Their affected vocal delivery conforms to the more eccentric side of Japanese idol pop, and has often been paired with love-it-or-hate-it material. But the group has recently dabbled in harder-edged sounds via sub-unit Black M!LK (I guess “Chocolate M!LK” was too on the nose). Now, they’ve added three new members and switched up their style with the powerful Over The Storm.
Storm shares more than a little DNA with Infinite’s legendary The Chaser, making it a must for Bias List coverage. Its energy is absolutely frenetic, steamrolling forward from the very first moment. The instrumental is a hailstorm of jagged synths and pounding percussion, rarely letting up even when it crashes into a dub-step breakdown for the second verse. M!LK give a more mature vocal performance than in their earlier work, though their voices are most powerful when layered into a wall of sound for Storm’s anthemic chorus. This daring arrangement builds to a final, extended refrain that’s genuinely goosebump-inducing. This is punctuated by a Chaser-esque fade-out stab of percussion that leaves you begging for more.
If I had one bit of criticism, I wish the instrumental gave more attention to its lower end. The higher-pitched synth work steals almost all the spotlight. It feels constantly on the verge of shredding to pieces and collapsing in on itself. A stronger injection of bass would have rooted it to the ground. With that said, the mid-song break is a riveting piece of work, functioning as a wordless second chorus without blunting any of Storm’s energy. If this is the direction M!LK are planning to go from now on, we’re in for some exhilarating music.