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What Made Milwaukee Famous Reviewed

Trying to Never Catch Up (Barsuk)

Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., Sept. 15, 2006

What Made Milwaukee Famous

What Made Milwaukee Famous

Trying to Never Catch Up (Barsuk)

Every time people in Austin turn around, What Made Milwaukee Famous' 2004 debut has cleared another obstacle that's frustrated other local bands for years. Self-released? Check. Deafening buzz? Roger. Austin City Limits? Gotcha. Major indie? Indeed. Worse, it sounds as fresh and original as when the local quartet was serenading the soundman (and almost no one else) Tuesday nights at Stubb's. Thanks to Barsuk, Trying to Never Catch Up may be new to the rest of the country, but Austin is still, well, trying to catch up. How a band from such an incestuous scene produced an album with such keen pop instincts that nonetheless stops well short of ripping anyone, local or national, off continues to boggle the mind. Credit the songwriting talents of Michael Kingcaid, John H. Farmer, and Drew Patrizi, or the whole band (Jeremy Bruch in for original drummer Josh Vernier) for venturing out on limbs that hold fast under their collective weight. The Barsuk version drops in four generally subdued new songs, but it's the dazzling pop-craft of lovelorn gems like "Idecide" and "Hellodrama" that makes Trying to Never Catch Up one of the best local releases of 2006 – just like it was in 2004. (Phases and Stages, July 16, 2004, Music)

****

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