ALBUM REVIEW: Time by Milburn

By Joe Cawthorn | 26/09/2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Time by Milburn
Joe Carnall on stage.

THERE'S nothing like reaching a milestone anniversary to bring on the nostalgia.

Many bands who were around in the early 2000s have enjoyed reunion gigs, anniversary album releases and radio play time as wide-eyed fans look back on their youth fondly.

Of course, these landmark dates can bring back the good times, if only for the length of a song, but they also remind you just how good something was, even if you didn't quite realise it at the time.

That’s definitely the case with Sheffield foursome Milburn, whose comeback last year was a decade on from their debut album being released.

Led by former Dinnington school teacher Joe Carnall (pictured above), the band were propelled into the spotlight when they released their first single, Send in the Boys, on Mercury Records.

They split in 2008 after releasing two albums — Well Well Well and These are the Facts — but reformed eight years on for four reunion shows to celebrate ten years since the release of their debut album.

The atmosphere in the crowd at one of these shows was electric as the mix of young and old fans belted out chorus after chorus in a nostalgic homage to Sheffield’s great music scene of the time, which included the likes of a young Arctic Monkeys, Reverend and the Makers and Little Man Tate.

These shows were followed by the release of a single, The Midnight Control, and this summer an outdoor show at the packed Don Valley Bowl.

These further reinforced fans’ love for the band as the set, made up of early hits and some new material, sent them back to where it all began, before returning to the here and now.

So what now? 

Well, well well, Milburn — made up of brothers Joe and Louis Carnall, Joe Green and Tom Rowley — will release a new album this Friday — and what an album it is.

The aptly-titled Time has enough of the old Milburn in it to remind fans who had shoved them to the back of their minds that they are force to be reckoned with in this day and age.

It also has enough new elements to show a clear progression from the head-banging anthems they were loved for the first time around.

It has substance, different layers to peel as the album progresses, and the dynamic choruses we all hoped to hear.

The LP, which was recorded and produced by Bill Ryder Jones of The Coral at Parr Street Studios, is packed full of highlights, with each track telling its own unique story in the greater Milburn tale. 

The title track and album opener provides a perfect introduction into what to expect from the foursome.

It opens the door into Milburn’s world ten years on while the second tune, Midnight Control, contains the sing-along-chorus of the album, which I expect to be belted out wholeheartedly when the band tour later this year.

There are darker, echoing numbers that don’t need the crowd to lose their voice to enjoy them, and the swooning voice of Carnall provides the best lyrics of the album on Together Alone.

Throughout the whole piece the theme of time is reintroduced to remind new fans that a lot has happened in the ten year interval between second and third album, it’s an important thing to remember when you give Time your first listen.

This album has a chance of going under the national radar, which would be a travesty, given what it offers to the musical landscape at this time.

It evokes memories of times gone by and forces you to consider just what has changed in your own life during the intervening years.

That’s what this album is all about, putting in perspective the previous decade.

Time will be released on Friday via Red Essential.