I have to admit that I have not the faintest idea what the sub genre of steam punk is or for that matter, what it means. I suppose that pretty much damns me as an inadequate member of society and a complete failure as a human being. Nevertheless, it comes nowhere near pigeonholing this band.
'This May Be The Reason...' is the sort of album peculiar to the English. Embracing the eccentric humour epitomised by the likes of Albertos Y Los Trios Paranoias, Monty Python and Bonzo Dog Doo Da Band, it mixes punk and Metal with the cocky jaunt of the Kinks and Sham 69. Think Ray Winston interpreting Napalm Death on a 1890s East End Music Hall stage. Is it anachronistic? Possibly but it is as timelessly English as a pint of ale in a country pub and a work of genius that makes the likes of Tenacious D sound like petulant kids.
Article continues below...
TMTWNBBFN are a London based gang of four oddballs: Andrew O'Neill (vocals/guitar), Andy Heintz (vocals/musical saw and formerly front man of Creaming Jesus and Giant Paw), former Lord Of The New Church and comedian Marc Burrows (bass) and comedian Jez Miller (drums), who are joined on this occasion by ex Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy who provides the album's spoken word intro and hidden outro.
The band's oddness can be summed up by the fact they released a single on a wax cylinder which came with instructions on how to build the machine on which to play it. Mad as a box of frogs? Yep. Cool as fuck? Most definitely. They are all probably the sort of quaint lunatics who play Scrabble whilst spelling everything backwards.
It is an eclectic album that throws together history tutorials, Heavy Metal, music hall, comedy and shakes it all up to give a thoroughly satisfying experience. There's the 19th century politics meets punky protest song of 'Doing It For The Whigs', the music hall extreme Metal mash-up of 'Margate Fhtagn', a tale of a family that runs into Cthulu while on a day trip to the beach and Queen Victoria getting a visit from her dead husband in the Metal of 'Victoria's Secret'.
There's some very good advice on stress relief in the Pythonesque 'The People's Common Sense Medical Advisor' and the Metal of 'Tesla Coil' and 'The Great Stink' offer a surprising contrast to the rest of the album. The occasional mournful cry of the musical saw lends the album a subtle melancholy that a lot of Goth Metal crews fail to achieve with full orchestras and choirs of harpies.
'This May Be The Reason Why The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Cannot Be Killed By Conventional Weapons' is a funny and engaging second album. The humour is occasionally vulgar and there's sufficient historical detail to engage the most narcissistic of history buffs.
A work of musical genius that demands you press replay.