Milburn’s These Are The Facts is the follow up to last year’s debut Well, Well, Well. On paper things are looking good for this band. Their debut entered the charts at # 32, they have enjoyed a series of slots supporting fellow Sheffield band the Arctic Monkeys, and have an extensive headlining tour planned for the Autumn. Unfortunately, things start to go a little awry when one actually listens to their music. The principal problem is that their sound is highly unoriginal. This in itself should not be an issue. Most bands are influenced by those who have gone before them but they tend to add a new twist or a modern take on it. Milburn however, fail to do the latter. At best, they sound like an undiscovered 60s West Coast psychedelic band; at worst, like The Coral covering a few Arctic Monkeys B sides.
Track one “Lo + Behold” isn’t bad, clocking in at just over two minutes, it’s actually quite a good album opener. This is followed up by lead single “What Will You Do (When The Money Goes)”. True, it does sound a little like a certain other band from Sheffield, but it does have an epic anthemic quality about it, all jagged guitars and tempo changes. So far so good you may think. Yet the trouble is that the album starts losing its way once it reaches track three. “Wolves At Bay” starts in a similar fashion to track two before the band opt for the favourite Milburn weapon of choice, the trebly delay FX pedal.
Sure the tunes are all very nice, but the listener may find him/herself reaching for the skip button on occasions. “Summertime” and “Lucy Lovemenot” are mid tempo 60s types. Imagine if The Shadows had grown up in late 1990s Sheffield and you get the idea. “Sinking Ships” should be highlighted for its quite frankly terrible lyrics – “I don’t want to talk to you / and you don’t want to talk to me / so I’ll shut my eyes and think of England / while I speak”. At least “Cowboys And Indians” steps the tempo up a notch, but that’s all you can really say about it. The rest of the record morphs back into trebly 60s territory, although the last track (“Genius And The Tramp”) is surprisingly good.
If you’re already a fan of Milburn you’ll no doubt enjoy this album. However, if you’re not there’s not really much here to convince you otherwise. Certainly, track two’s worth downloading but that’s about it. If it’s gritty northern wordplay you’re after, stick to the Arctic Monkeys. If it’s jangly 60s retro, go check out The Coral.