The band, which had been going almost
non-stop for three years, decided to throttle back, but their self-imposed
hiatus didn't last long. Laney quickly formed a new SST-flavored
post-punk band with Milemarker bassist Al Burian called Challenger
that released a debut on Jadetree. Laney found himself on the road
once again for five months of 2004. "I guess old habits are
hard to unlearn," he said.
Shortly afterward, Milemarker began working in the studio (again
with engineer Steve Albini) on Ominosity, their first new
album in three years, released in October on Eyeball Records. "It
goes from screamy hardcore to long, spacey jams to acoustic songs,"
Laney said. "The record was a culmination of more than a dozen
people in the studio. Ben Davis (of band's original line-up) even
came back and did some stuff on the record."
Milemarker's evolution heard on Ominosity continued with
the touring band, which has grown to a six-piece that sports two
drummers and a violin. "A big part of the band has always been
to keep changing, so it feels new on a personal level," Laney
He said Omaha always has been a staple on Milemarker's tour schedule
from the early days. "We played with a lot of (Saddle Creek)
bands," he said. "I think the first band we played with
in Nebraska was Lullaby for the Working Class. All those bands are
gigantic now. It feels good to see that happen to such good people."
Could it also happen to Milemarker?
"I'm surprised any time anyone buys our records or comes to
our shows," Laney said. "The way to keep it in perspective
is to never forget those first few years of touring when you played
house shows for $10. We feel fortunate for achieving anything above
Published in The Omaha Reader Nov. 30, 2005.
Copyright © 2005 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.