Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Milky Wimpshake - My Funny Social Crime (Fortuna Pop!)

A miserable Monday morning in Nottingham in the mid-90s, and on the way back from signing on I slip into Selectadisc and rifle through the seven inch singles I can't afford. There's the usual hipper-than-thou slew of American emo that was never gonna cheer me up. Then there, shining like a glittering penny in a pool of shit, was 'The Deviation Amplification Spiral' by Milky Wimpshake. I had a fiver in my pocket and no food in the house. Of course I bought the record...

A decade and a half later, I'm still wrapped around Milky Wimpshake's little finger. They're still here, fighting and loving harder than most; and I'm still here wondering quite why every band can't be like them. What's more 'My Funny Social Crime' is probably their best album yet. Heck, even 'Clicking It' from 'The Deviation Amplification Spiral' makes an appearance here. I think that might have something to do with dialectical materialism, but I can't be sure.

What's so special about buzzsaw guitars, popcorn bass and rattly drums? Everything - that's what. Especially on 'Broken Again' - a modern northern soul classic, or  'Itchy Feet on a Tuesday Night', which makes the case for going out and having fun during the week, rather than accepting pointless work again the next morning. If 'Itchy Feet...' isn't the anthem for the fightback against this vile government, then it bloody well should be.

And then, wonderfully, there are some real moments of pathos. Such as on the gorgeous 'Patchwork', which features what sounds like a cello. It's waiting to be on the next but two series of 'This is England'. If you ever want a song that sums up what loving, living with and then losing someone is all about, then look no further.

By the time Amelia Fletcher comes along and duets on 'Eyeball to Eyeball', you think just about anything's possible. And that's pretty much how Milky Wimpshake have made me feel for the last 15 years. Whether it be on one of their irresistable records, watching one of their unspeakably life-affirming live show, simply having a quick chat to Pete Dale before or after a gig, or re-reading those Slampt! liner notes all over again - this band mean more to me than more of the supposedly "important" things in life ever will. It's not a flirtation or a dalliance or a fling; it's a lifelong love story. Don't ever change.

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