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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Well Well Well
Format: Audio CD|Change

on 6 April 2017
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on 27 April 2017
Fantastic album
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 August 2017
Milburn, a four-piece indie band were one of several groups to emerge from Sheffield and onto the indie music scene in the early to mid noughties, but unfairly fell under the shadow of the Arctic Monkeys (even though they had actually appeared on the same bill as Milburn before they became famous). Another one was Little Man Tate, of whom I rated very highly and still treasure their two albums, but they split up seven years ago. Milburn did the same in 2008, without having made much impact chart wise (with only two top 40 hits singles, both of which are on this album), but they have recently reformed, and recently a new single this year, which firmly keeps up with their original sound.

Their debut album, 2006's 'Well Well Well' is great fun, loaded with fast-paced little rockers with clever observational lyrics often relating to modern life in Britain, in the same well-done tradition that started with bands like The Kinks, and describing what most teenagers do and enjoy. It spent just one week in the British charts, where it reached a respectable at no. 32, and it's three singles, 'Send in the Boys', 'Cheshire Cat Smile', and 'What You Could Have Won', peaked at no.22, no.32 and no.66 respectively.

Whilst the sound here is raw, exciting, and always uptempo, just like that of the early Arctic Monkeys, these boys still had their own merits, and were great musicians. There is nothing groundbreaking or 'different' about them whatsoever, but 'Well Well Well' is sure to appeal to those who those who used to listen religiously to the likes of other great indie rock bands like The Libertines and The Kooks.

The title track which opens things up is an infectious song that finds singer Joe Carnall, with his wonderful broad Yorkshire accent, refusing to accept a former friend's apologises, knowing that he or she will ''do it all again'', which, although an angry tune, actually makes me feel happy whenever I play it, and puts a smile on my face. 'Roll Out the Barrel' is a brilliant acoustic track, with it's tongue-in-cheek lyrics and very catchy chorus, and the perfect way to close out what is an overlooked, but very appealing indie record. With top drumming and guitar work, these lads sure delivered the goods on their accomplished debut, and whilst no one could surely deny that their sound was very Arctic Monkey-isque, that is hardly a bad thing, and besides, Milburn came first.
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on 16 October 2006
When I first played a friend of mine "Send In The Boys", he said that it was a "bit early for an Arctic Monkey's tribute band". I thought the comparisons were a touch unfair and were mainly based on their accent and the fact that they sing about modern life through keen observation. (Should they have put on cockney accents and sung about the unhappiness of the upper classes, just to be different?)

This album sees Milburn set themselves apart from their younger, more famous city-folk, and whilst they haven't broken particularly new ground here, they have still crafted a catchy, exciting sound. I just hope the record-buying public gets a chance to hear it. The lack of coverage this band get in mainstream media is shocking and even the hype-machine (NME) have largely ignored them, probably in favour of some terrible band of drug-addicted art-students in pointy shoes and Russell Brand hair styles.

But I don't want to moan about image and media... Well Well Well is all about music. It really reminds me of a 'northern version', if you'll excuse the tag, of The Rifles album from earlier this year. Its unpretentious, working class rock and roll that has a sense of humour and a heart, and importantly, a melody. There are some really catchy tunes on this album, and my current favourites are "What About Next Time?", "Last Bus" and the rawkus "Lipstick Licking". The songs here are suitable energetic and punky, but there has been criticism, particularly from those who have seen their early live performances, that their sound has been polished and has softened a touch. Maybe I'm getting old, but it still sounds pretty raw to me!
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on 23 October 2006
Q: What came first the Milburn or the Monkeys?

A: Doesn't matter.

10 points if you answered correctly.

For a bonus 10pts.

Q: Who's better, who's best?

A: Get over it!

Lose a gazillion points and any cool you might have had left if you think either question matters.

Truth is both are excellent. Milburn are more strident, straight forward and in your face. The Arctic Monkeys have the arty songwriting, grittyness and quirks. Both have the Sheffield twang and are obviously bred like good beer from the same hops.

Who came first? Doesn't matter. Who's best? Honestly, get over it. Milburn are another great band to be filed alongside Maximo Park and Bloc Party at the punkier end of the new wave of Brit Pop spectrum.

So enjoy both, it's double the fun :o)
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on 20 November 2006
This album is just amazing.....love it, love it, love it!!!

I haven't been this excited about a band since I was a teenager and I'm 33 now.

Anyway, they just shade it over the arctic monkeys for me, but as other reviewers have already said, that isn't important. Definitely a band in their own right.

I can't wait to check them out live.
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on 19 August 2006
I just need to get one thing straight before this review. Milburn are no Arctic Monkeys 'cover band', 'tribute', or 'rip-off'. They should be compared obviously, but only because they are both from Sheffield, and both write great songs.

For a start, Milburn formed in 2001, way before the Monkeys, which seems strange when Milburn support them. However, they are all good mates, and it was Milburn who taught some of the Arctics how to play there instruments.

I don't need to go into details of the songs. When you hear them you'll understand, but only, and I mean this, if you forget the whole 'Arctic Monkeys' tag. They are amazing songs. The songs may sound more polished than the demos, and I've heard some people say they've lost some 'character' but who would go out and make an album identical to their old material? If anything, the songs come to life when listened to with the new perspective the band have put on them, a few lyric changes, and different arrangements. They have had to leave off some better songs, if only to progress, but if you think that some of these songs were written up to 3 years ago, you can't blame the lads for wanting a bit of a change.

If Milburn had got there first, I believe Arctic Monkeys would be the ones having to live up to the comparissons. Two great bands, but two very different albums.
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on 7 December 2007
Well Well Well is a class album with some great songs, however it's worth hunting down the 'Special Edition' because the extra tracks are a real bonus.

My favourite track on the standard album is 'Brewster' and one of the extra tracks is a version that features Billy Bragg (I wonder if the connection to him has anything to do with the sleeve artwork!) but the standout track for me is '17' which is only available on this version.

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on 18 December 2007
I cannot praise this album enough.I listened to Well Well Well and Send in the boys repeatedly, then gradually listened to the other tracks only to find they were even better. There are not many albums that you can play and enjoy every song as much as the last, well this is it. Bonus tracks make this album a must have in any collection. Milburn are also superb live, so "Roll Out The Barrel" and go buy this, you won't be disappointed.
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on 26 July 2007
Don't like to hear Milburn compared to the Arctic Monkeys. They are different. I have the Arctics, Milburn and Little Man Tate on my ipod and all have been played the same number of times. I love this album and got most upset when I dropped my first copy and scratched it. Would love to see them live; will try and catch them later this year.
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