How Wicked We've Become
3 1/2 stars, AllMusic.com
Milton and the Devils Party is an American Indie rock band from Philadelphia, PA. It was formed in 2001 by singer-songwriter-bassist Daniel Robinson and guitarist Mark Graybill. Drummer Bob Falgie joined in 2006.
Critics frequently compare the band's sound to The Smiths and to R.E.M. and praise the songs' lyrics, noting that Robinson and Graybill are English professors. One review credits the band with the invention of a new sub-genre called "jangle noir". One critic writes, "Sure the music is intelligent but it's far from exclusionary." In an interview with Metro Philadelphia, Robinson says, "We don’t want people to think that we’re pompous. We don’t take ourselves too seriously."
As Robinson explains in numerous interviews, the name of the band is derived from a passage in William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell in which Blake calls the poet John Milton "a true Poet and of the Devils party without knowing it." Robinson tells Metro Philadelphia, "There's a famous belief that (John) Milton when he wrote Paradise Lost and created the character of Satan, he inadvertently made Satan more interesting and appealing than any of the good characters. . . . It's kind of a joke. I thought it would be a funny name for a rock band because there's that whole silly tradition of rock Satanism." Though he is frequently compared to Elvis Costello, Robinson asserts that his main songwriting influences are Ray Davies, Morrissey, Nick Cave, and Lloyd Cole.