Lovers, Not Fighters hit the indie pop scene just in time for summer 2002, providing 15 tracks of smarmy mix-tape fodder to let that someone know they were sort of special. Recalling the straight-faced irony, lo-fi aesthetics, and tuneless vocal charm of Television Personalities, the threesome creates batches of digestible, playful tunes led by Pete Dale's jangly, often distorted guitar melodies, resembling a college-bound Ramones. No song is over three minutes, most are less than two, and each focuses on the daily frustrations of being young, jaded, and in a band. "Philosophical Boxing Gloves" documents an embarrassing conversation with some doctoral student where the hero, the narrator, is too loaded to spar. "Too Much, Too Drunk" is the confessional that follows, and "Bourgeois Blues '99" and "White Liberal Guilt" (with an excellent banjo lead) are the snotty recap of the story the next day to friends. The weepy, stripped-down "Jack Straw" sidesteps the usual Milky Wimpshake whimsy for a moment of sober reflection at the political climate in the U.K. Using the same rage as Billy Bragg's finger-in-the-face of the 2002 song "NPWA," Milky Wimpshake is one of the only bands around in 2002 who can combine a great melody and lyrics worth a second read.
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AllMusic Review by Daphne Carr