And so we move from the sublime... to the ridiculous.
8. The Humdrum Express - The Day My Career Died
I know what your immediate reaction to this post will be: "Rol: you're seriously telling me this record is better than Bowie?"
No, of course I'm not, and I'm sure Ian Passey, the man behind The Humdrum Express doesn't think he's better than Bowie either. The point is, my Top Tens are never about artistic merit, as subjective as that may be. My Top Tens are just about what I like, and a lot of the time, I like silly, trivial, funny records as much as, if not more than, serious, arty ones. That's why I irk the musos, because musos rarely believe humour has a place in the pantheon of serious rock 'n' roll.
I owe this one to Charity Chic, who introduced me to this band less than a couple of months back. As soon as I heard the track Leopard Print Onesie, I downloaded the full album from emusic. In a year with very little to laugh about, with doom and gloom making a big impact on even my year end list, and in lieu of a new Half Man Half Biscuit album to warm my cockles... The Day My Career Died was the record I needed more than any other.
The HMHB comparison is unavoidable, particularly on the title track and the one Charity Chic highlighted, but there's more to Ian's bag of tricks than pin-sharp observational minutiae. Although he is bloody good at that...
The local kids' swimming clubElsewhere on the album, there's a hilarious rap based on crap advertising slogans (End of Part One), and a note perfect Morrissey parody (Catch A Fallen Star) that if you closed your eyes could be the long-awaited sequel to Little Man, What Now?
Packs shopping at a cost
I leave the supermarket
With bread and crisps all squashed
They should be briefed:
Put tins underneath!
Look, if we're all in agreement about anything, it's that it's been a truly awful year all round. With that in mind, The Day My Career Died could well be the most welcome album on this list. We need something to make us smile...
I can't help but feel ungrateful
For gestures from the smug
Who take pity on my plight
By sending me a cyber-hug
They all should fear...
My cyber-clip round the ear
Next, at Number #7... it sounds like Jim Morrison's band, but it doesn't sound anything like Jim Morrison's band.