One band I've been listening to quite a bit recently is Milky Wimpshake, a three-piece from Newcastle. After a prolonged spell in the purgatory that is my wishlist, Milky Wimpshake finally found their way onto The Album Wall last month when I stumbled across two of their albums - Popshaped and My Funny Social Crime - for £3 each in Fopp Bristol.
Since that day (January 19th; I remember because it was Sarah's birthday), I've listened to both of those albums quite a bit, and it's high time I noted down some of the thoughts that Popshaped and My Funny Social Crime have been making me think...
Milky Wimpshake remind me a lot of Cars Can Be Blue, an American band who played here back in 2013. Both bands seem to be pigeoned into the same hole (the one marked 'TWEE'), although Wimpshake are noticeably twee-er than CCBB; while there are a few naughty moments scattered across those two albums, none of them are so full-frontally X-rated as Dirty Song ("you can sodomise me, get behind and ride me!")
If Cars Can Be Blue are sex-crazed teenagers, screwing at every opportunity, then Wimpshake are shy, giggly high-schoolers who have plenty of ideas but no actual sexual experience.
"I wanna hold your hand...and other things too!"
Milky Wimpshake's sound might generally be described as "fuzzy, lo-fi indie pop, played on cheap electric guitars, probably in somebody's dad's garage". This covers most of the songs on Popshaped and Social Crime, but there are occasional breaks from this MO; one of my favourite songs from either album is Changing Shape, a sweet, string-backed song for a lover who is worried about her figure:
It's a really lovely track, and it serves as a rather refreshing after-dinner mint at the end of My Funny Social Crime (which, as previously suggested, is mainly fuzzed-up and lo of fi).
Another interesting element of these two albums is Wimpshake's occasional tendency to get political. Most of their songs are about girls and being awkward around them, but every so often, they'll put their minds to higher things, as on Here's to the State of Mr. Poodle (another uncharacteristic acoustic moment, this time from Popshaped):
I'm not sure exactly who Mr. Poodle is (Tony Blair, possibly? George Bush?) but he's certainly not popular with these guys. Other examples of Wimpshake's political side include Murder in London and that one line about being left-wing in the aforementioned Changing Shape (I bet that everybody shouts that part really loud when the band play it live).
The one thing that bothers me about Milky Wimpshake and their music is how very male it all is. As I said in THOUGHT #3, most of their songs are about fancying girls, and if you don't fancy girls, you may find it difficult to relate to some of this stuff.
Still, I'm not the Songwriting Police; after all, you are supposed to write what you know. And, hey, Pete Dale certainly does a good job of capturing what it's like to be akwardly crushing on someone.
And of ensuring that all of his songs are readily available on YouTube. Thanks, Pete!