As the unofficial Troy McClure of Milwaukee music, you may remember Myles Coyne from such projects as Temple, US Male, The Zelda Routine, Ladders, his short stint as live support for The Fatty Acids, founding the Breadking tape label and collective (and starting the annual Breadfest event), and playing in a number of other bands. Though he continues to drum in Ladders and the Breadking cassette catalog keeps growing by the month, Coyne has made no secret about piling the bulk of his almost-endless energy and passion into his eponymous solo project.
The project, which started out with the bandleader enlisting fellow Riverwest folk musicians to populate his Rusty Nickel Band, has recently taken a different and decidedly heavier turn. Every Nickel has since cashed out, and Coyne pared the project down to a trio, with members of Mortgage Freeman and I’m Not A Pilot now supplying accompaniment. Along the way, the hardworking troubadour traded in his acoustic guitar for an electric one—lent to him out of encouragement by Christopher Porterfield—and, judging by the dingy and stomping quintet of songs on his forthcoming Mouse Corn EP, he hasn’t looked back.
Harsh and chugging guitar licks make their first of many appearances in the opening salvo of “Slender Man,” and, along with the splashing cymbals, blanket Coyne’s delicate and vulnerable vocals. The fuzzed-out “Stoop Kid” follows suit with a swell of distortion and a billowing rhythm section. The warm strumming at the outset of “The Cure” nods to Coyne’s Rusty Nickel days, but tacks on components as the song culminates with a shrieking guitar solo.
Lineup changes and progression aside, the upbeat singer-songwriter would be remiss if he didn’t finish Mouse Corn EP on a goofy note. “Take A Bath” is an indisputable kid’s song (with animal noises and everything) that just so happens to have clashing audio elements like a walking bass line and a squealing solo. If nothing else, the curious closer serves to remind listeners how Coyne started out, and how far he’s traveled to arrive at this particular sound.
Before Coyne releases the Mouse Corn EP cassette (via his Breadking label) at Company Brewing this Saturday, listen to it in its entirety now, only at Milwaukee Record.