Garden Home hasn’t exactly been a stranger to our little parcel of digital real estate in recent years, but the Cream City screamo quartet has somehow managed to attract our attention (and fashion an impressive reputation in music circles in Milwaukee and beyond) without, um, actually releasing very much music to this point.

Of course, the limited output—2021’s excellent two-track, sub-five-minute postmortem, as well as last year’s “Past Life” single/music video and a pair of 2024 singles—along with a steady diet of memorable live outings have helped to make Garden Home a compelling band to keep tabs on, but the sample size has been surprisingly limited so far for a project that already seems to be fairly known in the local music scene. With sparing (not to mention short) recorded material and brief sets, Garden Home was essentially scattering seeds in preparation for what was to come.

Well, Garden Home is now a band in full bloom, as its long-awaited debut album shows those seeds have grown into something substantial. Recorded by Cody Ratley, the eight-track Garden Home announces its presence with a veritable wall of guitars and the guttural shouts of Dylan Mazurkiewicz on album opener “Right By Me.” That torrential table-setter gives way to the bleary and downcast duo of “Hot Water / Cold Hands” and the aptly-named “Grim” that each tackle tough topics with crushing instrumentation and emotionally wrought lyrics.

Somewhat ironically, “The Worst Of It” (along with the subsequent song, “Past Life”—arguably the closest thing to a radio-ready single) represents the very best of the album, as intricate percussive flares coalesce with dynamic riffs, and Mazurkiewicz’s brashest vocal delivery yet. Clocking in just shy of four minutes, “The Worst Of It” is also the longest song in Garden Home’s recorded catalog and nearly matches the runtime of the entire postmortem EP.

Before the eight-song, approximately 24-minute effort is through, Garden Home—along with studio assists by Ratley and Justin Perkins of Mystery Room Mastering—bestows blistering guitar work (perhaps best expressed on “Imposter”) and muddy bass (“Not Today”) upon listeners en route to cementing their now-justified status as one of the city’s most exciting young bands with the punishing, tempo-shifting, and altogether emotional “False Spring” that brings the album to an exceptional end. It took a little extra time, but with its self-titled debut album now out in the world, Garden Home has officially taken root as an established band in Milwaukee music.

Garden Home is now available on Thumbs Up Records, Spotify, and other streaming platforms. The band will headline an album release show at Cactus Club on Friday, April 19 that also features opening support from Harrison Gordon, EMWAY?, The Others Like Us, and Buena Cara.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.