Despite the appeal of Flood, from which the Giants' greatest hit to date (Birdhouse in Your Soul) was lifted, this follow-up remains to me the classic, quintessential TMBG album. The quirky humour, original instrumentation, weird song structures and bouncy rhythms are all in evidence here, on a CD that is - for all the benefits of its predecessor - the closest the Giants have ever come to a perfect album in the strict sense of the word. The record starts off with the blinding "Dig My Grave" and "I Palindrome I", and proceeds to build up an expertly judged but never contrived arc of musical suspense and a strong sense of wonder at what may come next. The most interesting and humorous offerings would have to be "Spider" and the inimitable "Fingertips", a collage of surreal soundbites, which in the American version of the CD was allegedly split up into second-long mini tracks to keep the shuffle mode on CD players busy... An album that shows no signs of ageing, and carries within it the promise of more original contributions like this from the Giants, who seem to have gone into hibernation...
An album i first listened to on the way to see them at a gig in Manchester in 94. My friend had it on tape but it had got stuck in his player a few weeks earlier and it was the only music we could listen too. After hearing it 11 times in the same evening (its a long drive and a longer drive back) the songs were tattood on my mind. Fingertips is supurb, and i still smile when i hear the line "Ah c'mon on and crash my car", taking me back to that evening stuck on the M62. Dinner Bell, Spider, I Palindrome I and see the constallation all add to a quirky catchy album. My first TMBG album, and not my last, I have been a HUGE fan eversince and do all i can to collect their other albums, singles and videos. If you like this also buy Severe Tyre Damage and John Henry before moving onto the other albums.
This is yet another supreme TMBG album. Full of convolutions and switchbacks, it'll keep you guessing. I Palindrome I is possibly the most complex song in the entire world, featuring the huge word-palindrome "Son I am able she said though you scare me watch said I beloved I said watch me scare you though said she able am I son"! Dinner Bell is my highlight - a mesmerising song on all levels. See the Constellation sees the boys finally "rock out" whilst the enigmatic Hall of Heads is top, too. Unfortunately, Fingertips doesn't work for me unlike other reviewers - all in all, I'd recommend the simply stunning Lincoln over this album
Here we have an album inspired with more surreal comedy than Flood had, and pretty much all the songs are first rate. The whole LP has a distinctly macabre feel, with songs like "Turn Around" and the "Hall of Heads" describing disembodied crania and "...How You're Feeling" reminding me of a schizophrenic friend of mine. Tracks like "Spider", "I Palindrome I" and "Fingertips" to keep the level of hysteria right up there at "big funny". Get. Go!
Oh boy, I love this band. And, whilst there are better TMBG albums, this is still a fantastic record. The much-referenced 'Fingertips' suite was a fantastic, inventive idea but it just didn't work on UK CD players - but you have to listen to it anyway, it is just brilliant. 'See The Constellation' has a killer guitar riff. 'My Evil Twin' is fantastic. 'I Palindrome I' is another example of how clever the Two Johns are. I love 'Dinner Bell'. Everyone in the whole world should have 'The Statue Got Me High' on their My Top Rated playlist. Even the 29-second 'Spider' is worth listening to. 'Mammal' and 'Which Describes How You're Feeling' are more traditional TMBG fare - but that is not to damn them with faint praise. This is definitely worth buying - If you've never heard TMBG before, buy Flood first to get you into the mood. Then buy this
Apollo 18 had a lot to live up to in my opinion, as I only had the brilliant Flood to compare it to. My doubts were partially dispelled with the excellent opening tracks, and the clever track "The Guitar". The album has its fair smattering of good tracks, such as the aforementioned, "Which Describes How You're Feeling" and "See The Constellation", but there are too many average tracks, and few classics to match "Particle Man". However, the inclusion of a number of shorter songs, best described as short jingles, was an inspired one, as they are often incredibly funny, with songs including the lyrics "Please pass the milk please". Well, it is funny when you listen to it. In short, it is not as good as "Flood", but still well worth buying, whatever your musical tastes.