Half Man Half Biscuit ‎– 90 Bisodol (Crimond)

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Tracklist

Something's Rotten In The Back Of Iceland
Rsvp
Tommy Walsh's Eco House
Joy In Leeuwarden (We Are Ready)
Excavating Rita
Fun Day In The Park
Descent Of The Stiperstones
Left Lyrics In The Practice Room
L'Enfer C'Est Les Autres
Fix It So She Dreams Of Me
The Coroner's Footnote
Rock And Roll Is Full Of Bad Wools

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rikwolters

rikwolters

July 12, 2013
edited over 2 years ago
referencing 90 Bisodol (Crimond), CD, Album, PROBE 65

Review from The Sound Project - 25/09/2011

This is their twelfth album of 27 year career, which included a four year hiatus, and they're sounding as good as ever.

The album was recorded in uncharacteristically posh surroundings for the Biscuit, after Geoff Davies (the man behind the band's label, Probe Plus) managed to negotiate a couple of sessions at Liverpool's Parr Street Studios - used by the likes Coldplay.

The result is probably the band's best produced album to date - but don't let this put you off, despite the production this is still very much a Half Man Half Biscuit album - witty, clever and full of references to both modern culture and the obscure.

People seem to dismiss Half Man Half Biscuit in belief that they're nothing more than a comedy band, these are surely the people who have only known the band's classic debut, 'Back in the D.H.S.S.'. True, the band have produced some laugh out loud riotous tunes over the years, look no further than 2003's 'Tending the Wrong Grave for 23 Years', but at the same time singer Nigel Blackwell has written some of the cleverest lyrics of his generation.

The album kicks off with the superb sounding, 'Something's Rotten in the Back of Iceland' - a play on a line from Marcellus in Shakespeare's Hamlet, "Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark". The song builds up to the heroine of the tune's refrain: "There ain't no stink like the smell you're gonna get from the age-old eel in your decommissioned fridge...".

Like most of their albums, the further you delve into them the more you find. Blackwell's interest in traditional folk is once again highlighted on second track 'RSVP', which in true trad-folk tradition ends with someone dying.

Back in the D.H.S.S. era 'Joy in Leeuwarden' is a celebration to the obscure - the 2010 European Korfball Championships - yes, really. This, they claim, is a cover of Henry Wassenaar and Corien Steenstra's song which was entered into a competition to celebrate the 2010 championships - the song came second, much to the dismay of the mayor of Leeuwarden. How much of this is true is anyone's guess, for all we know it could just be yet more tongue-in-cheek Half Man Half Biscuit humour.

'Excavating Rita', is a tale about a Betterware salesman so stricken with grief that he's taken to necrophilia, whereas 'The Coroner's Footnote features suicidal admirer. Dark stuff indeed.

There isn't so much of the old school post-punk thrash in evidence on this record, with guitarist Ken Hancock highlighting his acoustic-picking on 'Fun Day in the Park'. 'Fix It So She Dreams of Me' is a brilliant track with it's own sideswipes at the likes of Gok Wan followers.

The album's closing track, 'Rock and Roll is Full of Bad Wools', is Nigel's attack on members of his own business, the Soccer AM types. It's the world that Nigel is almost begrudgingly a part of and results in the most scathingly scornful song of their career. How about this for an opening:

"He's sitting on a so-called Soccer Sofa,
On a Saturday morning,
Having the so-called banter with the Preston,
Touching base with fellow guest Heston,
How cool does he appear?
And how cool is his career?
He's gonna' talk about his songs,
And his favourite footie teams,
That's England, Chelsea, Acky Stanley,
And all the band love watching Barca"

An excellent album, and probably the band's best since 2002's 'Cammell Laird Social Club'. Thankfully there's still some good wools left in rock and roll.

Key song: Rock and Roll is Full of Bad Wools