Milton and the Devils Party
How Wicked We've Become
Transit of Venus
If you haven't guessed it already, Milton and the Devils Party is a collaborative effort of Pennsylvania English professors Daniel Robinson and Mark Graybill. And yes, their name is a reference to John the poet, not Berle the comedian. Basically, if you like intelligent, catchy pop, you'll like this, and you won't need a thesaurus to enjoy it either.
What follows from the band's first full-length release is the perfect juxtaposition of literature and rock music. Upbeat tempos, pensive lyrics, catchy hooks, and creative melodies all make this album worth the price of admission. The track "I've Had Your Wife" is clearly referencing the implied infidelity in Othello, but what makes it great is the dynamic structure between the verse and the chorus. One second it's smooth and uplifting, then dark and menacing the next. "Too Old To Die" is another gem, and with witty lyricisms like, "but misery is a luxury when you're seventeen (or you're Morrissey)/ But now I've got people depending on me/ I've got to be and not not to be," it's not hard to see why. "Perdita" ends up being the best track on the album with its baleful vocals and sweetly melancholy melody.
The influences on How Wicked We've Become, are too numerous to list here, but a few of the obvious ones are The Smiths, Rick Springfield, and R.E.M. All in all, you couldn't ask for a more earnest album.