A Welcome Dose of Midwestern Charm

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The Midwestern Charm Album Review

Like all good Rock And Roll Animals, I always have beer and rock music on my mind.

Someone mentions Milwaukee and the first thing I used to think of was the former. Milwaukee and beer go hand-in-hand, right? Hell yeah, even their first-place baseball team is named the Brewers, but if you really think about the brews from this Wisconsin city, well most of them… how do you put it… well, they suck. But, that’s okay, because ever since we started this little blog, we’ve come across something else that Milwaukee does pretty damn well: The hometown of Les Paul, not surprisingly, brews up killer, soulful rock music.

A few years ago we wrote about an excellent song from The Wildbirds, then last year, Broken Birdie fell in love with Midnight Reruns, and just this week we heard the excellent new offering from the shores of Lake Michigan, with Growing Pains, the second album from The Midwestern Charm.

Growing Pains kicks off with an addictive track, “Bloodbath.” The catchy tune features distinctive vocals from primary song-writer, Connor La Mue.  It’s straight-forward American rock ‘n roll – poppy, jangly, garage rock that’s eminently listenable. The song blends nicely into “Can’t Stand It.” another excellent offering, this time featuring pristine, catchy guitar work, and powerful vocals reminding me a bit of John K Sampson (The Weakerthans).

The eleven song album offers a nice blend of indie rock.  Unfortunately, with today’s conservative corporate ownership of most alternative rock stations, this band probably does not have a clear radio hit on the album, but there are a handful of songs that simply put are damn good rock tunes.

The band offers a diverse glimpse into their abilities and a wide array of songs.  I applaud them for taking a few chances, but their slower offerings just did not hold the same appeal, and were often easily forgettable. But, the upbeat rockers are the songs in their wheelhouse, and the place where I think they shine the most; songs like “Lush,” “General Drag,” and it’s fantastic blistering lead-in “With A Lime,” definitely demand attention.

It’s clear that there’s good stuff brewing in the Milwaukee rock scene.Check out Growing Pains and let us know your thoughts. Just promise us to grab a nice American Craft brew before you slide on the headphones.

The album can be streamed here: Growing Pains
Rock On!
Mike G

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