ALBUM REVIEW: Milestones – ‘Red Lights’

You’ve probably seen us talking about Manchunian based quartet Milestones a lot on CelebMix recently. With them releasing tracks Paranoid and BitterSweetHeart from the album to warm fans up for the main event now the time has come for the full effort to be unleashed. We were lucky enough to check out the album a couple of days early and here’s just what we thought.

The release opens with BitterSweetHeart, a track which fans have already got their ears around is a great starting place. With heavy, guitar-driven verses it is followed by a Matt Clarke’s vocals stealing the show on the chorus as you tap your feet along and fight the urge to sing along. Now we’ll be honest listening to this track in order does make you feel like you’re going on a bit of a musical rollercoaster. Once Upon A Time features a poppier, upbeat tone entwined with speaker messages trying to take your mind in seven directions at once. Despite all this being said there’s something bring us back to this high energy track, packed to the rafters with action. Paranoid returns to the familiar tracks already released from the album, being the first single it helped fans develop first impressions. It’s since become clear that the melodic infused riffs and powerful vocals would be a theme carried throughout the release.

We could spend time comparing Red Lights to Equal Measures, but instead lets focus on the now. However what we will say is time has definitely improved Milestones musically. Against The World sings of a song of hope, “we are dreamers, it’s me against the world” and some soulful gang vocals make you feel empowered. Every album needs a track which provides a reflective moment and this is Milestones edition. It just makes you feel really good as if you can do anything you dream of. Thanks for the motivational boost Milestones! Eighteen throws us back to the fiery action but still keeps trace of gang vocals and a slower track tempo. Lyrically this is one of the weaker tracks on Red Lights, from the moment we saw the title it became very apparent of what was going to be sung about and we weren’t let down. It feels quite cliché and packed with cheese spilling out of every verse. Next!

Hey, why dwell on the band and not focus on the good? Liar is one of the tracks deserving attention. The vocal focus on Matt Clarke creates an emotively powerful track one of anger and angst which you just can’t shake off. There’s also an incredible guitar instrumental towards the end of the track, the highlight of the release? Maybe so. We weren’t kidding when we said Milestones would be going on a music rollercoaster throughout Red Lights from hard-hitting anger to Hold On being full of raw emotion and the struggles love can bring. There’s a sense of vulnerability here as we’re let into a seemingly personal issue and it becomes impossible to not just drift off with the lyrics allowing the guitars to fade into the distance of your mind. End Game goes back to a good old pop-punk vibe which it’s impossible to not enjoy, let’s be honest. With an upbeat, crowd singalong-worthy chorus we can see this become a live fan favourite.

As we head towards the end of the release it’s the final chance to really impress us but This Is My Life manages to thoroughly confuse us. With a minute long instrumental introduction it seems as if Milestones have purposely split the album into sections. Once the track finally kicks in we’re back to blazing choruses, rolling guitar lines and the inability to tap along to the beat. Counting Cars as the penultimate track take everything down a good few notches allowing Matt Clarke’s vocals to get another chance to be shown off. Reminiscent lyrics and a delicate piano backing make this a hauntingly beautiful moment of the release. Milestones aren’t scared to step away from one genre but when they do they on more occasions than not succeed in creating a moment of magic. Closing Red Lights and Milestones debut album is Forever or Never. With pressure riding on its shoulders this big closer shows off swirling guitars, rhythmic guitars, gang chants and a huge drop and reprise. It feels extremely apt the final lyric of this release is “you’ve got the best of me again” as it truly feels like we’ve just got the best of Milestones.

But will Milestones make a mark on the music scene forever, or will it be a case of never? Red Lights is a perfect example of how musical risk-taking can flaunt different sides to a band. A band unafraid to leave their comfort zone is a band we can’t help but become hooked on. From the bold singalong choruses, heartfelt lyrical moments and gritty guitars, what more could you really want?

Be sure to get yourself a copy of Red Lights from iTunes or their official store. Red Lights is released tomorrow (Friday 23rd February) via Fearless Records.

Will you be checking out Milestones? Tweet us @CelebMix to let us know!

Written by Nicola Craig

Lover of all things pop, a boyband or two, and discovering new artists to get hooked on. You'll usually find me at a gig, truly living my best life without a care in the world.