Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Grant Johnson at Good Danny's, Austin, Texas
If you were to ever in need of more proof that the human race was an experiment gone wrong, you can listen to the stories and pay attention to the characters in every What Made Milwaukee Famous song. The Austin, Texas, band taps into the worst aspects and the prevailing traits of our destructive species, all while making their findings harmonious and bar-thumping.
The massive faults that these people repeat time and time again make one wonder, as lead singer Michael Kingcaid does on this session if we all just love the abuse. It must be part of the problem - a problem that's not seen as a problem at all. Some people like to dig a nail into a cut and have the pain shoot hot into their veins, a bullet train to the head. They don't hate the way that feels so it's no accident when they decide to bring it on.
What Made Milwaukee Famous approaches these actions - ones that are no more peculiar than any others that people make - with a recognition that doesn't ever gloss over the fact that people - despite desires to do the opposite - behave damned poorly a lot of the time. "Swift Justice For Christmas" and "Silence Is The Loudest Answer," are two songs that dig into the idea that most people get what's coming to them. Most of the time, they've been courting it and they won't be surprised when they hear it banging violently on the screen door out front. They'll answer it with a sheepish look on their face, eyes cast down to their feet. Kingcaid, who occasionally sounds like Neil Diamond when he reaches down for the words in these keen and somewhat witty pseudo-ballads, drives straight to the heart of what brings people to their missteps. He sings, "We've got patterns and prisms and schemes/We've all got our faults/We've all got our miseries to blow off and do as we please." He continues, "We've all got needs and we've all got our substitutes," and we all know it.