Half Man Half Biscuit to Release Rarities Compilation ‘And Some Fell On Stony Ground’

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For over 30 years Half Man Half Biscuit, their lo-fi, post-punk/indie stylings and satirical, sardonic and sometimes surreal, observations, ramblings and creations from frontman Nigel Blackwell have consistently proven to be brilliant, unique and essential.

Like any HMHB fan, a new release from four lads who shook the Wirral is something to be celebrated and cherished. On November 4 (or October 21st – depending in who you believe it is Nov 4th) HMHB will add to their impressive collection of thirteen albums and numerous EPs with And Some Fell On Stony Ground; a collection of hard-to-find tracks only previously available on long-deleted releases. While new material would be preferable – bringing together some much-loved non-album material from long-deleted releases as it does – it is a very welcome addition. Compiled of tracks from the band’s four EPs, a B-side and a track contributed to a charity record, it includes classics such as ‘Bob Wilson – Anchorman’, ‘Tending The Wrong Grave For 23 Years’ and ‘Vatican Broadside’. Hopefully we’ll not be waiting for new material for long, but And Some Fell On Stony Ground is a very welcome addition nonetheless.

More details here and the album will be available from Probe Plus Records.

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BarryGruff’s Albums of the Year 2014

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So, it’s that time of year again, yeah, it’s favourite albums of the year time. Loads of great music this year, some old faces and plenty of new ones too but for those of you who care, here are my 25 albums of 2014. Enjoy!

25. Second Storey – ‘Double Divide’

24. Beach Day – ‘Native Echoes’

23. Globelamp – ‘Star Dust’

22. Sex Hands – ‘Pleh’

21. The #1s – ‘The #1s’

20. Attaque – ‘ON LY YOU’

19. Shit Robot – ‘We Got Love’

18. Mowbird – ‘Islander’

17. Oh Boland/Me & My Dog – ‘Delphi’

16. Jamie T – ‘Carry on the Grudge’

15. Pharoahe Monch – ‘PTSD’

Following on from his 2011’s W.A.R, comes fourth solo LP, PTSD (aka Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), a loose-concept album which sees Pharoahe Monch speaking as a weary independent warrior against the industry machine and dealing with the struggle of the black male experience in America. It’s dense, raw and sometimes painfully raw, as he relives harrowing memories of his struggle with addiction, depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s all draped with his familiar top-notch storytelling, cavernous vocabulary, thought-provoking rhymes, precise delivery and thought-provoking metaphors, placing him right up top of the current hip-hop pile.

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Half Man Half Biscuit – 90 Bisodol (Crimond)

For over two decades Half Man Half Biscuit have inhabited a unique musical space where nobody else could possibly reside. Satirical, sardonic and sometimes surreal, always witty and sardonic, to dismiss HMHB as a novelty act would be doing them a massive injustice.

90 Bisodol (Crimond) is another album (their 12th in fact) full of acerbic wit and intelligence from the Birkenhead quartet. There is an air of darkness to frontman Nigel Blackwell’s grim humour who’s wordplay and rhyming are par excellence while regaling tales of a necrophiliac Betterware salesman ‘Excavating Rita’, scorned lover ‘RSVP’ and the dark themed ‘Tommy Walsh’s Eco House’ and ‘The Coroner’s Footnote’. There is also a well aimed attack on indie groups on Saturday morning Soccer shows with ‘Rock and Roll Is Full of Bad Wools’.

There are chipper moments too; the joyous ode to Korfball with ‘Leeuwarden (We Are Ready)’ or ‘Fun Day in the Park’, all wrapped up by the catchiest mix of pointed punk riffs, country folk tinged ballads and classic indie sounds.

It’s time this great band received the recognition they deserve and a rare genius realized. 90 Bisodol (Crimond) too, might be their most complete work yet. That’s saying something seen as they’ve had a more than distinguished 25 year career.

 Half Man Half Biscuit – Joy in Leeuwarden (We Are Ready)

 Half Man Half Biscuit – Excavating Rita