Milky Wimpshake – Heart And Soul In The Milky Way

milkywimpshake

The press release for Milky Wimpshake’s fifth album Heart And Soul In The Milky Way concludes that “Milky Wimpshake isn't the kind of band which expects to sell out big venues, top the charts or get chased by screaming fans: it's simple music, with simple sentiments for folk smart enough to see that sometimes simplicity works like a charm.

In anticipating the likely sentiment of any critic of their work, they’ve rendered reviewing the album a rather pointless task; not only are its shortcomings made obvious before you’ve even hit the play button, but it’s difficult to criticise an album that does exactly what it sets out to do. Whatever is thrown at it can be shrugged off with a dismissive, “Yes, but that’s the point!”

What one would wish to ‘throw’ at the album becomes evident quickly. As “pop/punk”, it lacks both the accessibility of the former and the bite of the latter, instead focusing on the promised simplicity of both, together with the classic punk DIY ethos. This is best seen in the album’s one-day no-overdubs recording; a noble idea that would be impressive for a more musically complex offering. However, Milky Wimpshake instead present us with straightforward, to-the-point musicianship, with competent but uninspiring instrumental performances that blandly support rather than accentuate the album.

This is almost acceptable, as the album’s undeniable focus is its heartfelt witticisms, delivered in a lazy, talking-not-singing manner by vocalist Pete Dale. These idiosyncratic insights can be clever on occasion, but obvious and a little forced on others. Some may gently tickle your funny bone, although never quite enough to force a laugh from your interior, while others fall flat on their feet. Overall, the vocals might satisfy according to taste, but otherwise they fail to save the album from mediocrity.

It has its moments: a few choice words from Mr. Dale here and there, such as his spot-on judgement on modern punk towards the end of “The Mirror Stage”, and the rather excellent “Without You,” whose vocal tradeoffs provide some much needed variety. Sadly, as the last song of the album, this comes far too late; anyone without the specific music taste needed to succumb to Milky Wimpshake’s charms will have switched off a long time ago; a fact that the band no doubt already know and are quite content with.

Release: 4th February 2013, Fortuna POP!

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