[PSYCH-POP] Boone Howard is bummed. On the second album from Portland trio the We Shared Milk, the singer-guitarist sings and plays like he's trying to navigate through the fog of a particularly lamentable morning-after. It's not a terminal depression—just the strain of vague melancholy that exists in everyone, the kind that comes wafting to the surface whenever we spend too much time alone with our thoughts.
In other words, Lame Sunset is about bummers we can all relate to. Howard's expressive, fuzzy-headed riffs and the liquid interplay between drummer Eric Ambrosius and bassist Travis Leipzig ripple through the hung-over haze, from the title track's wavy, vaporous shimmer to the distorted doo-wop of "Joe." Saxophones and keyboards are added to the mix, as well as revved-up tempos. But the band is at its best when it's crawling. "I think I'm going inside/ For the rest of my miserable goddamn life," Howard sings on "Regrettable Everything," the album's languid highlight. If that's what it takes to keep the We Shared Milk churning out material, then I'm all for it.
SEE IT: The We Shared Milk plays Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., with Aan and Yours, on Thursday, April 4. 9 pm. $7. 21+.