The Milwaukees

Bursting at the seams with 11 depressingly conventional emo anthems, The Milwaukees’ newest, This is a Stickup, is an all-out showcase of what not to do with a full-length record. Alternately mixing overworked production and thoughtless lyrics, This is a Stickup succeeds only in creating a portrait of what Texas Is The Reason would have sounded like, had they been a talentless group of hacks.

Even the album’s liner notes are apologetic. One page confesses a song’s ending may have been better had the last riff not been "written as a joke." There’s an air of unprofessionalism throughout the record, not in an endearing garage band way, either. Lyrics like "We’re cutting your hearts out/Pulling back on/A harpoon that pierced me/Hurricanes" are delivered with such loud insincerity (and without a hint of irony) that listening to the album without bursting into laughter becomes a chore.

Ultimately, however, the most insulting thing about This is a Stickup is not that it fails on almost every imaginable level as a record, but that it’s The Milwaukee’s third full-length. Atrocious songwriting and tinny production can be excused on a first, even a second album, but one has to wonder about a band that lets these mistakes continue to be made all the way into a third release.

Pass on This is a Stickup and wait for The Milwaukees’ next album–let’s just hope the fourth time’s the charm.

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