Harvey Milk Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk Harvey Milk
The indie music hotbed that was Athens, GA spawned many high-profile bands over the decades, though Harvey Milk were underappreciated and misunderstood. Their first full-length release was 1994's My Love Is Higher Than Your Assessment of What My Love Could Be, but before that, they recorded an album's worth of material with Shellac's Bob Weston in Chicago intended as their debut on 227 Records that was shelved inexplicably. Illegal copies have floated around the Internet for years, but now Hydra Head has stepped in and remastered the whole shebang for maximum gravity. Never formally tagged as a "metal band," "Plastic Eggs" and "My Father's Life" dredge the doom as ably as Reverend Bizarre and old Morgion, with vocalist/bassist Creston Spiers using his hangdog vocals like a dying coyote. As always, Melvins comparisons abound: "Merlin Is Magic" and "Dating Pressures" are syrupy paeans to the Melvins' Bullhead/Lysol era, yet "Probolkoc," "Anthem," and "Smile" (the latter with piped-in applause at the coda) are speedier cuts that underscored the Melvins' Atlantic years. But it's the epic tracks, "Jim's Polish" and "F.S.T.P.," both plodding, feedback-laden behemoths, that flag the band as "white space" drone aficionados. This eponymous debut, lovingly unearthed from its previous sonic torpor, is yet another piece of the puzzle that makes Harvey Milk one of the most uniquely heavy bands on the planet. (Hydra Head)