A weathered skull and a margarita glass overflowing with milk on a baby-blue background: That's the first impression you'll get of Climax, the debut LP by Finnish post-apocalyptic post-punk band Beastmilk. From opening track "Death Reflects Us" to "The Wind Blows Through Their Skulls," this is a fantastic 10-track album that combines musical elements in enjoyably unusual ways. It's doom-and-gloom New Wave meets high-energy, Pennywise-style guitar hooks, plus Glenn Danzig-esque vocals that convey emotion in a way that's more Morrissey than Misfits. Oh, and the band members have names like Kvohst and Goatspeed.
Throughout the album, you get the feeling you're being hunted by an unknown entity. That's not to say that everything is dark. There's a love song ("Love in a Cold World") and a quick nod to the Beach Boys ("Surf the Apocalypse"). Since its influences are so obvious, this album is easy to write off as derivative. But it isn't. It's addictive, and I want more.