Lancashire born Milltown Brothers are back once again with their new album Long Road, which comes 11 years after their reunion release Rubberband. Their latest offering is an utter homage to the guitar and the talent the Milltown Brothers hold as an indie band, with an irresistible old school rock ‘n’ roll twang. Long Road has a thick and sultry sound with a soulful relaxed atmosphere, filled beautifully by Matt Nelson’s thickly spread vocals.
This release comes with some instant classics. The album’s opener and title track is smooth and uplifting, with layers of affecting guitar that build a nostalgic and bittersweet feel. Much of the same goes for ‘Rockville’ which shows strongly its classic rock ‘n’ roll influences in its deep harmonious chorus. The best track on the album by far, however, is ‘Hideaway’, which is rock as hell from the first note and boasts strung-out powerful lyrics that really keep you on your toes. These songs, most notably the former, are a genuine throwback to the golden days of indie with a twist of Milltown Brothers’ own style.
Much of the album, however, feels a little repetitive. Between them, tracks ‘Bad Un’, ‘Don’t Go Crying’ and ‘Solitude’ all have very similar morose beats, drawling guitar and some soft piano. There is still a little variety left, nonetheless, in ‘Boy Kisses The Girl’, which has a highflying sweet sound and playful harmonious lyrics. Again, in ‘Alive’ we hear a summer-ready happy sound with lyrics that crave love and the joys of life. Things even get quite sultry with the driven piano, deep bass and enticing vocals of ‘Perfume’. The Milltown Brothers aren’t all gloom.
This will never be an album to blow the world away, but what it does do is perfectly encapsulate the musical genius of a down-to-earth-band that boast a lot of creative talent. What they have to offer is bittersweet and pervasive so much that it gets into your soul.
Long Road is out now via Stanley Records.