Nigel Blackwell is one of the funniest and most trenchant lyricists around, who has written some fantastic songs in the past. So it gives me no pleasure to say that the latest offering from HMHB is well below the high standards we've come to expect.
The targets of the Blackwell ire are, on this aibum, mainly predictable and, what's worse, not very funny, "Blue Badge Abuser" and "Totnes Bickering Fair" being particular examples. "King Of Hi-Vis" takes an idea that Stuart Maconie did in a more amusing way in his recent "Pies and Prejudice" book, while "Took Problem Chimp to Ideal Home Show" has a more amusing title than song.
That's not to say everything is poor. In a pop world full of drug related songs, I can't think of another that deals with steroid abuse ("He's On The 'Roids"), while "Lord Hereford's Knob" combines an attack on gentrification with a level of innuendo not heard since the Carry On movies.
The final track (whose title I can't mention or amazon won't publish the review) contains some classic Blackwell one-liners, but Nigel actually recognises the problem with this album he has when he sings (having moaned hilariously about lots of the little things that annoy us) "I tried to put everything into perspective...thought about the Mugabe government and the children of the Calcutta railways...but then I encounter Primark FM"
So overall, this really is an album for committed fans only. If you've never heard HMHB and want to find out why they have such a great critical reputation, you'd be better advised to check out one of their earlier efforts