Thursday 14 February 2013

Milky Wimpshake - Heart and Soul in the Milky Way

Album review by

It's difficult to know how to approach a new album by Milky Wimpshake. For twenty years they've made records that epitomise many people's view of "indie" music. Too late for the C86 scene but around for the revival years later, this last half decade has seen indiepop, particularly of the overly twee or cliched variety, fall massively out of favour again. There are without question some superb indiepop bands doing the rounds, recent albums by Allo Darlin' and Veronica Falls prove that, but 'Heart and Soul in the Milky Way' will have a much more select group of supporters; namely long-term Milky Wimpshake fans and very few other people.

Be it a middle aged man singing about not wanting to go to school and porno mags on 'Chemical Spray' or his potential girlfriend laughing because he's got the wrong shoes and haircut on 'Uncool Jerk', it's all a bit cringeworthy. Didn't Jilted John do all of this years ago? And wasn't that a novelty record? Then there's singing "here we go 2,3,4..." or "take it" before a guitar solo, or "tambourine solo" during a... yes you've guessed it. There are several cases of what could have been. 'Without You' isn't too bad, 'On Top' is a wonderfully jangly guitar song, 'Motormouth' could be some decent powerpop, '(I'm a) Worthless Person' has the bare bones of a good punk track, but they end up being just too cloying and sickly. It's all very well recording an album that honestly reflects your life and who you are, but these weedy, childish lullabies sound as fake as Bon Jovi singing about being a cowboy.

The album was recorded, pretty much as live, in a single day, so bonus indie points for authenticity there. The lyrics are supposed to be silly, the album is supposed to be a bit of a piss-take, and it is. Over the course of 13 songs, Pete Dale's overly fey, teenage boy-style vocals become just too much to take. Listening to this record is one thing, expecting the record buying public to take songs of this nature seriously enough to part with cash in exchange them is a different matter. Having a pop at Milky Wimpshake for making a album of fey, tired and just plain daft indiepop songs is a bit like having a go at a zebra for being stripey. That's just how it's meant to be. The fans will lap it up and this review will probably be music to their ears, the rest of us will have forgotten about it by next week.

Milky Wimpshake's website

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