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.