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Milburn - These Are The Facts

Milburn, These Are The Facts

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THEY’RE probably tired of hearing it but Milburn seem destined to forever exist in the shadow of their Sheffield city-mates the Arctic Monkeys.

The comparison got them noticed, for sure, but now that both bands have put out sophomore albums, it’s probably beginning to grate.

But you can’t blame us critics as there’s much more in common between them than just a city name given that both specialise in high-energy songs that display sharp melodies, spiky guitars and fantastically similar leading vocals.

In fact, try closing your eyes and picking out an unreleased album track from both bands and you may have difficulty telling them apart.

Not that this is a bad thing, of course. Milburn are a very good band. They’re young, enthusiastic, vibrant and get their kicks from fusing contemporary indie rock with nods to the ’60s and beyond.

When they get it right, they really do excel. Lead single What Will You Do (When The Money Goes) is a rousing anthem in waiting, a swaggering protest at gambling (“when you lose, you lose alone”) that contained a gutsy, emphatic chorus, some lively guitars and a raw power that was undeniable.

It paves the way for several more sings in the same style.

Summertime, in particular, shines brightly with its stop-start central guitar riff and Mamas & Papas-influenced chorus that’s brilliantly enhanced with some nice vocal layering.

While Cowboys and Indians drops a manic guitar loop that really gets under your skin after a couple of listens, complete with an off-beat rhythm.

And Being A Rogue is just an utterly infectious foot-stomper that really does seem destined to become an indie dancefloor filler.

Rubicon, on the other hand, shows a more tender side to their songwriting and contains some more striking guitar riffs and an almost melancholy set of vocals from Carnall – much like the earlier Sinking Ships.

While final track Genius And The Tramp is a genuinely engaging final flurry that whips up a fine guitar-based melody, some excellent lyrics and an unashamedly feelgood ’60s backbeat at the midway point (complete with layered harmonising).

It caps off a cracking sophomore album from a band that deserves to be winning acclaim on its own merits, rather than battling to emerge from someone else’s shadow.

Download picks: What Will You Do (When The Money Goes), Summertime, Being A Rogue, Rubicon, Genius & The Tramp, Count To 10

Track listing:

  1. Lo And Behold
  2. What Will You Do (When The Money Goes)?
  3. Wolves At Bay
  4. Summertime
  5. Lucy Lovemenot
  6. Sinking Ships
  7. Cowboys And Indians
  8. Being A Rogue
  9. Count To 10
  10. Come Away With Me
  11. Rubicon
  12. The Genius And The Tramp

  1. What a review good 2 see these lads are finally getting the attention the deserve. Wolves at Bay and Lucy Lovemenot are ace!

    andy.b    Oct 2    #
  2. Milburn are at their best performing; that’s what they do – very productive band that now don’t play all the favourites;there are too many! Go see them -lo and behold

    Paul Richards    Oct 16    #