The Vanilla Milkshakes ‘How to Ruin Friendships and Influence Douche Bags’

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The Vanilla Milkshakes

How to Ruin Friendships and Influence Douche Bags

Independent

3.5 out of 5 stars

Denver/Arvada punk-pop band The Vanilla Milkshakes’ debut release How to Ruin Friendships and Influence Douche Bags was recorded in just 17 hours —  a fitting schedule for the autistic, gay, formerly homeless, junkie guitar player David McGhee, who fronts the group. It’s a hard-hitting, fist in the face sound with lyrics that exude humor, apathy and self-deprecation. The album opener “After School Special” mirrors Nirvana’s “Stay Away,” with a Daniel Johnston-inspired, Kurt Cobain-esque scream by McGhee. The influence of ’90s punk bands The Offspring, Social Distortion and Bad Religion are prevalent, yet The Vanilla Milkshakes, mostly due to the vocals, seem to capture that Johnston/Cobain style, where missed notes are seen as character builders rather than flaws. Songs like “The One That Goes” has McGhee channeling 7Seconds, while “Dance! Robot! Dance!” is a slower paced melody, begging “will you still love me when I’m gone?”  It’s the band’s well-rounded mix of heavy riffs, acoustic jams, and one exuberant frontman that makes their effort entertaining, and worth the listen.                                                        — D. Sharp

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