The Vanilla Milkshakes
Gig Seeker Pro

The Vanilla Milkshakes

Arvada, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Arvada, Colorado, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Punk




"Jerry and the Giant Peach of New Music"

"500 times more zingy than the last totally zingy thing you heard. Like Nirvana if they had been a K Records band." - Collapse Board

"The Dark Past and Bright Future of the Vanilla Milkshakes' David McGhee"

"'How To Ruin Friendships and Influence Douche Bags'. The melodic punk rock found on it makes the best use yet of McGhee's idiosyncratic outlook. His lyrics are full of sharp and poetic insight into human nature, but they possess a playful sense of humor. In classic punk fashion, the songs are crisp and shorn of all but the essentials. "I Need A Dollar" is a half-humorous memory of McGhee's desperate days. "At Odds With God" is a criticism of hypocritical moral standards that's reminiscent of Nirvana. Overall, the album is full of defiant, energetic anthems dedicated to the reclamation of personal dignity." - The Westword

"Steal this Track - The Vanilla Milkshakes"

"Kurt Cobain really admired the music of Daniel Johnston, and The Vanilla Milkshakes have positioned themselves somewhere on the bridge between Nirvana and Johnston. The tracks are stripped-down garage rock with deprecating, humorous lyrics with McGhee’s endearingly off delivery and enough “whoa” sing-alongs to bring in the listener." - Denver Post / Hey Reverb

"The Return of Everett True"

"Wow. FUN FUN FUN! Punk pop lo-fi distorto type fun. Fun on the beach type fun, and fun dancing round the empty streets of Olympia fun, and fun we don’t care if anyone else thinks we’re cool we’re going to have fun anyway type fun." - Collapse Board

"Review for The Vanilla Milkshakes' "How to Ruin Friendships and Influence Douche Bags""

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 -

"Vaylor Truck (Son of Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers) review for The Vanilla Milkshaes"

Right around 1982, a new breed of punk music started coming from California with all the rock of New York and all the snark of London, but with its own kind of erudition. Bands like Black Flag and The Dead Kennedys were expanding punk’s lyrical vocabulary in the same way that the Ramones and the Sex Pistols expanded its musical vocabulary. One listen to "How To Ruin Friendships and Influence Douche Bags" is all you’ll need to be able to see the clear influence of Henry Rollins or Jello Biafria on Denver’s The Vanilla Milkshakes.

Punk and I have a complicated relationship. I always find myself wanting to like it more than I actually do - so the nice thing for me about this album is that I get to experience the adolescent joy of it all without having to revisit works that always leave me ambivalent. This is music for playing loud in the car to vent off the road rage that your hour long commute instills. This is music for feeling superior about feeling inferior about feeling superior. If, at any time, a passing car or a shop window has made you smile by unexpectedly hitting you with “California Uber Alles” then get “How to Ruin Friendships and Influence Douche Bags.”

The standout track for me was “I’m No Prize Myself” if for no other reason than the high bpm count - and the intro to Kreep certainly seems like a nice little nod to Tom Verlaine and Television. - Vaylor Trucks

"Personal email with Calvin Johnson"

"Some groovy songs, ya." - Calvin Johnson - Gmail


The Vanilla Milkshakes - "How to Ruin Friendships and Influence Douche Bags"



"Like Nirvana if they had been a K Records band" - Everett True

With over 100,000 listens to date on Spotify, the band, The Vanilla Milkshake, has just released their record with K Records. You canOur record is being sold through K Records now! It's only $5 and I bet there was an accident so there's 500 collectible misprints! If you buy one from Calvin I'll be your friend. Buy our new CD now over at: Our record is being sold through K Records now! It's only $5 and I bet there was an accident so there's 500 collectible misprints! If you buy one from Calvin I'll be your friend. :-)

The band recorded the record with Calvin Johnson (of K Records and Beat Happening), it was mixed by Calvin's assistant engineer Pual Krogh (of Oh Blue Minium), and was mastered by Jack Endino (of Nirvana's Bleach and most of Incesticide) and even did finger snaps for Yr Scene! All set during a trip to in Olympia, Washington USA March 2015. The new album is now available for download and streaming on Spotify and every online streaming outlet aside from Pandora. But that may change. :-)

The new album goes by the title of "Tall People Have No Feelings"

The band is set to release a limited edition lathe on November 8th through Meep Record. *Update: All 30 sold out

The Vanilla Milkshakes were nominated for best post punk band by the Denver Westword and played the accompanying show to glowing reviews in 2015.
The Vanilla Milkshakes participated in 2015's Denver Post Underground Showcase.
The Vanilla Milkshakes have now have Max Points on 2nd guitar and our friend Jeff Brink (Highline / P-Nuckle / Knocean) is playing bass.

The Vanilla Milkshakes are a grouping of three studly nearly middle aged men and one barely 21 year old dude who sings and plays instruments. Sometimes when TVM do it in tune and a melody is born. Something like that at least... Reproductive health was never this biographer's strong suit.
Singer / guitarist David McGhee was born in Florida and lived in the south eastern regions of the US until he was eighteen when a family emergency brought him to Denver, CO. He remembers the first thing he saw when he got into town was a huge gay phone sex hotline billboard. This was miles away from the Bible belt of Georgia and Alabama. Here he could start seeking his identity.
He started playing guitar and singing after seeing the music video for The Offspring's “The Kids Are Alright.” He formed a few bands that focused on his music that sort of stagnated in-between inconsistent gigging and heroin abuse and quickly faded from existence.
After seven years struggling with nearly daily suicidal thoughts and urges, severe depression, homelessness, the law and heroin abuse until he was about twenty six and was diagnosed with Aspergers. It was then that everything began to make sense.
With therapy based around logic that autistic people can grasp he has made leaps and bounds and the guy who once tried to kill himself over 20 times now can't get enough of life.
“It's trippy to be alive...” David says now “you could have been born a gnat and only have existed for only a few days and then gone forever. Never another chance.”
After meeting boyfriend / drummer and vocalist Frank Registrato (jam scene favorite Bonobos Convergence / southern soul Universal Recording act St. Francis) on an online dating site in late 2013 and basically saved him from a life of bed bugs, violence and drug abuse. David moved in with and is now being cared for by his percussionist friend. With his life in steady order it was just a thing of getting back into music. The opportunity came when Frank's other band's guitar player (of local Denver reggae band Highline) JanKarl Hayes said sure. Why not? Let's all form a band! So he hopped on bass and it turned out the dude could sing really freaking well. With all three singing there are some awesome harmony opportunities.
The Vanilla Milkshakes are not about perfection. Even the sourest note can be refreshing if it adds life to the song. The band's debut album “How to Ruin Friendships and Influence Douche Bags” was recorded in an astonishing 17 hours (13 less than Nirvana's debut) at Denver's own Uneven Studio by Bryan Feuchtinger.
Since becoming a band the response has been just so awesome. They are truly the pictures of gratitude and can't believe things are going so well. After a lifetime of suffering, David McGhee finally has a life to be proud of.
They are a great all American band and an example of unpretentious music for pretentious people.

Band Members