steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Milkshake Jones

"Gala Days" CD

Paisley Pop

Genre: power pop, pop/rock

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Dec 22, 2008

Sterling "Remember How To Smile," with its lazy guitar strums and pretty, Go-Betweens-esque chorus, almost single-handedly makes Gala Days worthwhile. Sadly, the rest of the record doesn't match its glorious peak, instead turning out a little inconsistent.

Inspired by seventies power-pop and AM radio, the members of Milkshake Jones outfit their songs with cheery melodies and juicy guitar chords. On "(Where You Goin') Suzanne" and "The Veil," they effortlessly spins off solid, hook-fuelled tunes. They also adds a distinct country tinge to the proceedings on "Gala Days" and "Never Sleep Again." For the most part, this formula turns out well - listeners shouldn't be surprised to find themselves humming along to these songs in the car. However, for all its better moments, some of Gala Days' songs are pretty bland, best suited for background ambiance in lieu of your full attention. This becomes especially noticeable in the disc's second half, which features several by-the-numbers pop tracks ("Counting Heads," "Earthquake Heart," "All I Want is Everything.") As a result, Gala Days sustains your attention from track one to track six, but ends up dropping off after that. Still, when they're on their game, Milkshake Jones crafts a mean pop song - and serious power pop fans will want to take heed.

milkshake jones' myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2007]