These are the facts. Milburn are on the come down after riding the fame wave created by another fairly well known band from Sheffield. The new album is bound to expose all their flaws and see them disappear over t’other side of a big Yorkshire hill. Well surprisingly… no, actually.
A typical roudy bunch of lads forever in the shadow of the Arctic Monkeys, swigging lager and singing on the terraces – Milburn have emerged with a fine collection of tighter songs, showing signs of development in their sound.
What Will You Do (When The Money Goes) is a radio friendly, top single, layered with clever, catchy riffs. They won’t be short of cash producing songs like this. Perhaps Joe Carnall’s (vocals/bass) decision to stick two fingers up at Cambridge University wasn’t a mistake after all.
The song writing of slower numbers such as Sinking Ships highlights some weakness. Sure, the lyrics lack the wit of Bromheads Jacket, the intelligence of The Long Blondes and the social commentary of the Arctic Monkeys, but for guitar driven frantic fuzzy-pop punch tunes, these are your boys.
The drummers Gran used to allow the band to practice at her house in the early days. For the sake of her health, lets hope she isn’t on the guest list on their up and coming tour – tumbling surfing legs will crash on her head and sweat and blood will ooze amongst a chaotic carnage pit during songs such as Wolves At Bay. Whilst Cowboys And Indians and Come Away With Me have shades of The Coral, with off-beat rhythms and funky folk sounds. Despite the quick follow up, it’s clear that thought has been given to moving on from the first album Well, Well, Well, with spiky guitars, an overdose of melody and hints of the 1960s.
If the Arctic Monkeys did ignite the career of this band, what was a luxury then is a burden now. Under the pressure of comparisons and associations, they have followed up their debut with a real decent collection of songs. Milburn shouldn’t be compared to the locals, instead their talent should be viewed as independent amongst an area of trams and students that continues to produce fine music. This was never going to be album of the year, but it certainly ranks higher than Sheffield Wednesday.