Follow Us on Twitter

Milburn - Well Well Well

Milburn, Well Well Well

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

UPON first listen, it would be easy to write off Milburn as ‘the new Arctic Monkeys’.

Both bands hail from Sheffield and they’re certainly very similar in terms of what they deliver – namely, shambolic indie rock that’s rapidly delivered and defined by a swaggering vocal style.

Indeed, if you were stuck in a darkened booth and asked to distinguish between the vocals of Milburn’s Joe Carnall and the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner you might have trouble at times.

But listen a little harder and there are differences. Occasionally, the guitar work on Milburn’s album sounds a little more structured, while the subjects they tackle are a little more expansive.

Indeed, in some ways Well Well Well could be said to be a better album – although its overall sound means that it contains a certain ‘heard it all before’ quality that may do it more harm than good among the record buying public.

The band has achieved chart success with debut single Send In The Boys, which reached No.22, and there’s certainly more on the album to suggest they’re capable of much higher.

The footstomping What You Could Have Won, for example, is a swaggering, rollicking guitar romp that’s built around some really gutsy riffs. Sure, the drums crash around somewhat frenetically but the guitars are really worth taking notice of.

While album closer Roll Out The Barrel is an acoustic-driven offering that shows a quieter, maturer side to the band. Carnall’s delivery is assured and contains a cheeky quality that’s easy to like.

Thematically, the album is also quite ambitious with subjects ranging from fake posers (Showroom) to hostage situations Send In The Boys) and the mysteries of the opposite sex (Storm In A Teacup).

Showroom, especially, is a loud, brash offering that finds the guitars at their edgiest and angriest, serving as a suitably feisty backdrop to Carnall’s bombshell delivery of lines like: “The book that you’re reading is upside down.”

Ironically, it’s during such moments that the band will struggle to escape those Arctic Monkey comparisons.

When reigning in their shambolic tendencies, they actually fare better.

What About Next Time, for instance, has some truly exhilarating guitar riffs running through it that are more akin to the work of The Strokes, while the melodies are crisper and stronger.

And Cheshire Cat Smile is two minutes and 16 seconds of pure fun – complete with crashing drum breakdowns and a rousing, sing-along style chorus.

Storm In A Teacup owes more in style to The Ordinary Boys and Bedouin Soundclash, while Last Bus is destined to become yet another Saturday night anthem for anyone who’s ever had to catch the last bus, half-cut and desperate for the comfort of their own bed.

It’s smartly written, cheekily delivered and brimming with confidence.

The advice, therefore, is to give the Milburn boys – brothers Joe and Louis Carnall, Tom Rowley and Joe Green – a chance before jumping to any easy comparisons and writing them off.

Well Well Well is actually a really strong debut that’s quite capable of catching many listeners by surprise. Give it a go.

Track listing:

  1. Well Well Well
  2. Showroom
  3. Send In The Boys
  4. What About Next Time?
  5. Lipstick Licking
  6. Cheshire Cat Smile
  7. Stockholm Syndrome
  8. Storm In A Teacup
  9. Last Bus
  10. Brewster
  11. What You Could’ve Won
  12. Roll Out The Barrel

  1. Fair comments. Album is pretty good for a relatively unknown band and definitely deserves a listen.. stand out track has got to be What You Could’ve Won

    rob taylor    Oct 12    #
  2. Ive been a huge fan of Milburn for aaages and have eagerly waited for the release of ‘well well well’ n I have to say I'm not dissapointed one bit. It's also great to hear that songs which have previously been out on single or to download have been slightly changed for the album, such as bonus track Let Me Go.
    well done fellas keep it up !!!
    Vic xx

    Vicky    Oct 12    #