Review Summary: Cocky fucker!
It’s safe to say that there is no band quite like Half Man Half Biscuit. Their natural energy and skin-cutting wit has made them pretty much legendary in the field of snarky around-Post-Punk. It’d be foolish to try and sort out the best among the pile of greatness that is their entire discography, but one cannot doubt that This Leaden Pall
is among the most consistent, fun and off-the-hook adventures the band ever took. And sure, they may be playing into their strengths, but they do it so freely and naturally that the end results are pretty much always incredible.
Shaking the typical idea of Post-Punk off of their shoulders a long time before this album’s release, the band may have stumbled upon the utter absolution here. With its song writing, the album is reminiscent of Country, but the instrumentation seems more like a snarky Punk. Yet aesthetically it is Post-Punk through and through. It’s like an iPhone. All of its parts are from different genres/companies, the influences/structural ideas come from all sides around it, but not one person has any doubt that it is indeed Post-Punk, that constantly renewing itself, yet staying so truthfully same old product.
Half Man Half Biscuit are no strangers to the mean and cynical. But it is always meant in good fun, so no snarky, snappy, witty remarks on here should be taken at face value. Sure, they might not be at their meanest here, in fact, this might be their kindest record yet, but it still has its moments of zingin’ it to the folks all’round. And with a collection of such moments I shall leave you:
“13 Eurogoths floating in the Dead Sea”
“Five k? Five k? They can’t even play their instruments”
“She’s got a green belt in astrology
And I’ve got a black belt
“My rejoinder was “Die,
You off-beat cabaret type.”