These Are The Facts
I tried very, very hard to think of any kind of description for Milburn that did not involve a direct comparison with their Northern brothers, The Arctic Monkeys. Their debut offering in 2006, 'Well Well Well', was critically dismissed as little more than an Arctic Monkeys' tribute act, ironic considering that Milburn fans claim the Arctic boys actually learned their craft from the band. Whether this be true or no, Milburn were under pressure on their new album to deliver something, anything, that didn't sound like a carbon copy of Alex Turner et al. Unfortunately for Milburn, this proved to be impossible and the comparisons to be drawn between the two groups remain inescapable. Unfortunately again, this comparison painfully highlights Milburn as the weaker music makers, ultimately outfoxed and outclassed by their young pupils.
Milburn have all of the Northern bravado and guitar rock based sound of the AM without any of their lyrical dexterity, or pencil pointed social commentary. They do try hard, but simply putting a random question on a loop ("What will you do/When the money goes?") does not a genius album make. Their music if far from bad, but then it is far from being original, or clever enough, to set themselves ahead of the pack.
I do feel for Milburn, particularly as it feels as if they simply missed the musical boat when it called at their port; a bit quicker out of the starting gate and they might have enjoyed a reasonable degree of chart success and critical acclaim. Their songs are certainly well arranged and they certainly know how to write a catchy tune, as songs such as the soft-starting 'Genius and the Tramp', or the toe tapping 'Cowboys and Indians', suggest. But with every song, with every positive, there is still the pink elephant in the room: If the public wants an Arctic Monkeys record, they will buy an Arctic Monkeys record, and that, my friends, is that.