English twee punk trio Milky Wimpshake began their under-the-radar run in the early '90s, guitarist/vocalist Pete Dale taking time away from his more angry and rough-edged work in Red Monkey to investigate daydreamy sentiments and D.I.Y. takes on sociopolitical protest songs. Working at an extremely relaxed pace, Milky Wimpshake's discography exists in piecemeal compilation appearances, long out of print 7" singles, and a scant five albums stretched out over the course of more than 15 years. Encore, un Effort! materialized in 2015, but the album's 13 tunes would sound at home in almost any phase of their output, still holding the torch for scrappy, simple guitar tunes, fast tempos, and wispy twee vocals. One new addition is vocalist Sophie Evans, who duets with Dale on more than half of the tracks. Evans' melancholic tones are a nice foil for Dale's always charming but often wavering croon. While possibly stuck in the glory days of traded mixtapes and hand-assembled zines, Encore, un Effort! doesn't sound at all nostalgic, but more like the continuation of the band's ever positive craft and just as fun and inspired as ever. Happy go lucky twee tunes fill up the majority of the album but occasional diversions come with the French-sung punk-soul slider "Le Revolution Politique" and the slightly subdued softness of "Babylon Lovers." When in an upbeat and melodic punk mode, the band tackles topics like gender identity and other political views of sex and romance in songs like "Girl in Brackets," "Heterosexuality Is a Construct," and the blunt autobiographical lyrics of "Sexual Deviant." While not making huge stylistic strides forward, this chapter of Milky Wimpshake's catalog stays just as enjoyable and moving as any that came before it, offering a strong and ongoing voice to a phase of punk culture that many original participants have moved on from or lost the spirit for.
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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas