One of the great divides between American and UK 'indie' rock music lies at the lyrical level. While American rockers have conceived an entire genre for expressing trite longings for their old girl's polka-dot dress and other drivel, UK rock seems consistently inventive in crafting quirky, poignant, socially conscious lyrics that ultimately make the song rather than drown it.
See the latest Milky Wimpshake album Lovers not Fighters (Fortuna Pop) for another answer to the rhetorical question: Where are all the English emo bands? Wimpshake's leader, ubiquitous Slampt Records founder Pete Dale gives us his world. While the subjects are nothing new: heartbreak, sex, and dating, there's something in Dale's delivery that gives Lovers not Fighters authenticity, honesty, without being overly confessional, self-consciousness that avoids self-contempt.
Despite the melody centered, straight up guitar-bass-drums lineup, on many songs, the prominence of Dale's lyrics give Milky Wimpshake the feeling of a folk outfit in rockers clothing. Anti-prison songs, anti-capitalism songs, a Phil Ochs cover, banjo licks, and the album's benevolent title don't help. Yet, in the end, Milky Wimpshake's simplified, unadorned sound feels like the perfect vehicle for Dale's wistful lyrics. Whether its sorting through a hangover or a love affair, Dale comes off as an open, candid chap, neither portentous or pretentious. American rockers should take a cue.