Punk life has become a cliche; we all know it, Chicago’s Kelly Johnson (formerly of Geronimo!) knows it all too well. But we keep at it anyway, probably because we don’t know any other way. Johnson’s new project, Milked, attempts to practice what they preach, or at least talk about it, in their new single, “White Punks,” a track off their debut album, Death On Mars. Amidst a maelstrom of fuzz-tinged, melodic bass and beyond pounding drums, Johnson explores the inner turmoil of living in DIY culture, failing to live up to the activistic forward thinking that might come with the territory, and being self-aware.
Accompanying visuals, directed by Johnson himself, depict lewd scenes of partying and playing music in red-lit rooms. It’s a satire, for certain, masks and disguises being worn to display a cool perhaps not always there behind closed doors. The song opens, “think I’m gonna quit my job, ‘cause I got practice with the band,” a most impractical, yet all too common facet of music communities everywhere. It feels like a crucifixion, but it’s rooted in good intentions. Johnson knows he’s as guilty as anyone, just conscious enough to mention it. He notes about the track, “It’s kind of tantrum-y and self- deprecating. The song isn’t supposed to be critical; it’s more self-reflective and examining how easy it is to lose perspective. I wanted to paint a picture of some circumstances I noticed and let people digest them however they will.”