Fri Jan 25

Milemarker will put the haunt to you big time. It's partially the eerie tones pulled out of the keyboard and the chilling voice of Roby Newton curling around the cacophony, but mostly it's the psychological terror in the lyrics that'll give you the shivers--"trading individuality for a pre-packaged identity" kind of shivers. "Lack of protest against the creeping, all-encompassing-homogeny" kind of shivers.

Milemarker, in sound and message, lay out a sterile landscape of ineffectual automatons going through the motions of humanity. They rail for reaction, fighting earnestly to pull people away from the abyss. "We all agree there are vast multitudes of purposeless people living drone-like existences in subservience to agendas which are not their own," states keyboardist/bassist/singer Al Burian. "(We agree) that as people, actualizing our own agenda is a far superior one."

Milemarker have dedicated four years and four albums to this goal--writing, touring, and relocating from North Carolina to Chicago--to stay in the thick of things. "I think we're reacting against a generally stagnant world," says Burian, "and part of that is making music which reacts to the stagnant soundtracks delivered by that world, but part of it is also living a life which is exciting and self-determined, in opposition to the rote and boring existences which the world would like to offer us."

"Exciting" and "self determined" sounds like the utopia a lot of artists speak of, but fail to commit themselves to creating. Milemarker stand at this crossroads, tools in hand, pounding away at the inertia. In doing so, they have created something all their own, certainly in sound--an amalgam of punk, hardcore, and the better parts of new wave--but also in approach. "The point of our band has never been an end goal, like selling some amount of items or 'making it' to some point or another," says Burian. "The point is more the process, pushing the limits of what you imagine possible, both in terms of playing and thinking about music."