There’s something about Fightmilk’s debut album, Not With That Attitude, that takes me back to my youth. I realise that nostalgia is a given as a writer, but it takes a special band and a special punk pop-rock sound to do it for me. Keep your Something Corporates, I’ll take ‘Dream Phone’ and ‘Your Girlfriend’ over Fall Out Boy and Paramore any day.
With relatable lyrics that never cease to be less than blamefully self-deprecating and angsty, Not With That Attitude has created itself a lie in just its title. Fightmilk are going somewhere. They’re going through the motions and creating art. More than that, listening to this album makes me want to be young again. To feel okay with feeling not okay. Morein, to feel not okay with feeling not okay, and it being acceptable to do that.
In parts, such as one of my favourite tracks on the album, ‘Solving Crimes in Sweden’, the album could add to the perfect soundtrack of one of those alt-teen movies of the ’90s. The kind where Dawson was a dick and cried all the time and Ryan Phillippe was a dick but hot, not the kind where Freddie Prince Jr. is falling for the “ugly girl” and there’s a happily ever after.
It’s an album that marries pop-punk sensibilities with Natalie Merchant vibes, with both halves somehow seamlessly interjecting with one another; the same beast with an entirely different piece of lore. It’s also an album that reminds you that no matter what mistakes you make or how much you fall down, there’s always a “then…”
Not With That Attitude is the perfect record for those burgeoning onto the scene of adulthood. But it’s also magic at speaking to those of us still trying, twenty years on.
Favourite tracks: ‘Solving Crimes in Sweden’, ‘Get A Grip’, ‘Over’.
Not With That Attitude is out now via Reckless Yes. Catch Fightmilk live headlining for us at The Finsbury on 14th December!