TMTCH, as they are known, took two untrendy forms of music(folk and punk), took it out for the night, bought it a few drinks, honed it's edges a bit and coupled it with superb songwritng and musicianship to create this hidden gem. Full of verve, with hooks catchier than Siberian flu, the full-on tilt of songs like 'The Crest', or 'Bounty Hunter' leads to more reflective moments like 'Island in the Rain' or 'Dover Lights', yet the craft of the songs shines through every time. Only let down by a well-meaning but awkward to listen to song about child abuse ("Fathers Wrong"), this is a superb album and I would recommend firmly that fans of the Levellers, Billy Bragg, etc, check this out.
Some of the best songs released by TMTCH are on this one, such as The Crest, Smugglers and Dover Lights. This along with Silverown are the definitive TMTCH recordings. Very much in a similar mold/political tradition to the Levellers, but don't let that put you off, you don't have to agree politically to like the music. Only weak point being 'Fathers Wrong', well meant but doesn't achieve what I think they wanted it too.
The Men They Couldn't Hang were my favourite band of the time along with Pop Will Eat Itself. Both these bands are still amongst my favourites even now. I remember 1988 when I first got this album. My friend's mum worked in Our Price and would bring home my requested albums the day they were released. No internet leaks or downloads then! The joyful feeling of unwrapping the gatefold sleeve (with free poster and a songbook included with this) and hearing new songs from your favourite band for the first time just doesn't exist anymore. I would play one side, then the other and just get up to keep turning the vinyl over.
For me, TMTCH have released consistently great albums over a career which now spans more than 25 years. This album is up there with the very best and the songs here almost catapulted them into the charts, but alas even with the support of Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, they just fell short of gaining national recognition, which has been a constant disappointment to me ever since.
Some great songs here including The Crest, Islands In The Rain, The Colours, Bounty Hunter, Midnight Train, Life Of A Small Fry plus the CD includes 3 great B-Sides, which all demonstrate the vocal qualities of Swill & Cush and the superb songwriting abilities and general musical talent of Paul Simmonds.
When I shuffle off this mortal coil, my one regret in life will be that TMTCH were never a massive success whilst inferior garbage by the likes of Mumford & Sons seems to satisfy the masses. But maybe its still not too late for this to change?
TO THOSE WHO DON'T OWN A MEN THEY COULDN'T HANG ALBUM THIS IS THE ALBUM TO START WITH A COLLECTION OF EXCELLENT SONGS ON THE ALBUM.THE CREST OPENS THE ALBUM A GREAT SONG.THEN YOU HAVE THE SONG ISLANDS IN THE RAIN,THE COLOURS & FATHERS WRONG TO NAME A COUPLE OF STAND OUT TRACKS.A CLASSIC ALBUM WELL WORTH A LISTEN.
I met the group backstage at a gig in 1997 and discovered that not only was their music great but so too were the guys who made it! I got talking with the band and was asking them all sorts of questions, which included me putting Paul Simmonds on the spot and asking "what is your personal favourite album"? He replied "Boneaparte" very adamantly. My personal favourite track is "Life Of A Small Fry", but the whole album has a unique feel to it that actually paints a picture/story in your head. The band loved this album, I love this album, and if you can get your hands on it (I know it's quite rare nowadays to find it) then I guarantee you will not be disappointed. In fact, it's THAT good that it should be sold with a "Money back if not satisfied" sticker!
Not such a well-known album as Night of 1000 Candles or Domino Club, this one still deserves a special place in any folk/rock fan's album collection. Highlights include The Crest, The Colours and Smugglers. Midnight Train carries you right along with it and Bounty Hunter is best played LOUD! IF you've got the others, buy this to compliment them; if you haven't, get this, then get them!
TMTCH at their best! This cd really catches the buzz and high energy content of their live performances with some memorable songs which sound as relevant and amazing as the first time i heard them 25 years ago.