steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

What Made Milwaukee Famous

"Trying To Never Catch Up" CD


Genres: indie rock

May 2 - 8 2005

The first thing you notice about Trying To Never Catch Up is the keyboards, which play a large role in the band's style.  The first two songs start with bleepy, videogame-style synth lines before diving into What Made Milwaukee Famous's trademark, guitar-heavy indie rock.  This musical element isn't necessary, but it's an example of the band's attention to detail, something that adds up to create a completely enjoyable, very impressive debut album.

What Made Milwaukee Famous's main focus is on urgent, dramatic indie rock, heavy in sweeping guitar lines and emotional (but not whiny) vocals.  The music seems to fit somewhere in between No Knife and The Weakerthans.  The best songs are those that combine an energetic tension with a signature melodic catchiness; the title track epitomizes this, with a driving, serious mood that energizes an already exceptional, incredibly infectious composition.  "Mercy, Me" and "Curtains!" are also exemplary songs, with powerful melodies and moving atmospheres in a No Knife vein.  Of course a few songs fall a bit short - "Hellodrama" seems trite and unexceptional, and "Selling Yourself Short" is a bit low on hooks - but ultimately this is a pretty solid release.  As far as modern melodic rock goes, this seems to be among the better records out there.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2004]