The Milwaukees – This is a Stickup

The Milwaukees
This is a Stickup

The Milwaukees are a four-piece band with three previous releases. They are all extremely powerful musicians, and the music is extremely muscular yet very melodic as well. Each member of the band clearly has chops, and they are not afraid to show what they can do on their instruments of choice. Singer and guitarist Dylan Clark probably possesses the strongest instrument in the band with his potent vocal performances. Clark is a master at expressing his emotions that will have you believing every word he says and how he feels.
The disc starts off on the right note with “Angel with a Knife” with its heartbroken energy. The band does the soft/loud musical change very well here as Clark emotes wildly and with great impact. The disc succeeds enormously with the powerful guitar crashes and wonderful yelping vocals in “Berlin Wall.” Clark is once again a force that can not be stopped and is almost topped by the rolling guitar work that ends the song and continues into the next track, “A Harpoon.” This track keeps the pace up with very strong performances on the guitars that really shine.
The band is at its strongest when they allow the power of the music and Clark’s voice to really let loose in a song like “Medicine Hat.” Clark really has a gift in his voice as he can take even the tritest statements and make them convincing and believable. Luckily he doesn’t have to resort to that here as the bands songwriting is up to par with the performances, although they get a little too sentimental on occasion. The music reaches its most powerful moment during “Thinking Like a Genius” when Clark loudly declares “All your life / You wouldn’t change / You wouldn’t change / For nothing” in the chorus.
This disc will leave you feeling quite drained and rather hurt, and I mean this in the best sense since it’s rare for a peace of music to convey these types of emotions so genuinely. Clark’s voice is very moving and powerful, which is the key to these songs being successful. Not all of these songs convey a great emotional heft, and that fact hurts the disc a little, but that’s a minor complaint. The band sticks to showing off their musical muscle, which works very well, the performances tend to lag a little during the softer moments, but always picks itself up. This is a great listening experience when you are in the right frame of mind (i.e. even keeled, not overly happy or depressed) but is always enjoyable.