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Milemarker returns with the serpentine “Conditional Love”

Al Burian of Milemarker

Milemarker has regularly shifted since it formed in Chapel Hill way back in the late ’90s: While it always paired the abrasiveness of post-hardcore with synthesizers that skewed ominous instead of sugary, the balance of those elements—and the people playing them—has changed regularly. Al Burian and Dave Laney have always formed the core of the group, and the duo—now based in Germany—revived Milemarker this year for some live performances and, now, a new 7-inch out this month ahead of a new full-length. The A.V. Club is premiering one of those new songs, “Conditional Love,” which you can stream below. For reference, imagine a Kraftwerk take on Girls Against Boys.


“Conditional Love” by Milemarker, from the forthcoming self-titled 7-inch.

Milemarker was at its most active around the turn of the millennium, releasing singles, EPs, or a full-length every year between 1997 and 2002, notably Frigid Forms Sell on Lovitt in 2000 and Anaesthetic on Jade Tree in 2001. The band’s last full-length, Ominosity, came out in 2005, a few years before Burian and Laney decamped to Germany independently of each other.

Drummer Manuel Chittka and keyboardist/vocalist Lena Kilkka round out the latest incarnation of Milemarker, with Burian on vocals and bass and Laney on vocals and guitar. The Lovitt-released 7-inch features one other song, “Recognition,” which the press materials describe as “sensitive and optimistic,” the latter being a word not commonly associated with Milemarker’s discography. The band played a bunch of dates in Germany last month, but no Stateside shows have been announced yet.

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