Release Date: Aug 22, 2006
Record label: Barsuk
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Austin band What Made Milwaukee Famous (yes, like the Jerry Lee Lewis song) had already made a nice name for themselves by the time Barsuk Records decided to sign them and re-release their 2004 debut, and it's clear from the first notes of Trying to Never Catch Up that this is a band that knows what they're doing, and is pretty damn sure about it, too. It's especially the eight songs carried over from the original release that really showcase the group's strengths and utter likeability. The four new tracks added here, while not bad ("Judas," in particular, is great, staying in the lower registers and offering abstract advice like "please direct your questions that direction with regards to disregard"), are lacking a bit of the subtlety and poeticism that is so inherent in the older pieces.
It's probably not the reason the band members borrowed Schlitz beer's slogan, but What Made Milwaukee Famous and the "beer that made Milwaukee famous" share at least one overriding character trait: better in small amounts. Formerly known simply as Beer, What Made Milwaukee Famous retained a beer theme for its name, which doesn't exactly call to mind Guinness's advertising cartoon's solitary response. ("Brilliant!") Hailing from Austin, Texas, the band comes forth with a collection of various rock 'n' roll sounds we've been hearing for years.