Your band can’t get going? Here’s some advice: Take a look at your singer. If his or her vocals lack character, there’s little chance of moving beyond the odd house party. There are many reasons the self-released debut from Austin’s WHAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS, Trying to Never Catch Up (Barsuk), is now being nationally rereleased, with four new songs added, but a big one is singer-songwriter Michael Kingcaid. Even before this release, Kingcaid’s voice, finding the sweet spot between smooth and edgy, cut through the creative pop drone of his band with ease and landed a slot on last season’s Austin City Limits program (WMMF is one of a very few unsigned bands to ever appear there). Amid expected guitar and drum bursts sit expansive keyboards and a keen melodic sense, and Kingcaid’s lyrics are distinct and unpretentious. You’d never believe that a line like “make it bearable to be careful with each other’s emotions” fits into a song as insanely catchy as “Hellodrama.” Okay, there are a lot of breakup tunes, and the ghost of Radiohead sometimes looms large. But this is still one impressive debut. Watch this space …
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