Saturday, 10 December 2016

My Top Ten Albums of 2016 - Number 8


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 club
Packs shopping at a cost
I leave the supermarket
With bread and crisps all squashed
They should be briefed:
Put tins underneath!
Elsewhere 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?

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.

6 comments:

  1. Bloody good fun. Will be seeing what else I can dig up by them. That CC is a fine fella, isn't he?

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    Replies
    1. I won't hear a word said against him.

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  2. The lyrics are quite witty. I like that your top 10 includes obscure music, because year-end lists tend to all look alike. A year-end top 100 I look forward to is by saidthegramophone.com, which also has left-field picks.
    Thanks for referencing Half Man Half Biscuit, I've been on an 80s kick the last 18 months or so, and now I have another band to explore.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the blog tip Chris, I'll add them to my roll.

      Delete
  3. 'We need something to make us smile'. We do... this does. Thank you.
    Also to CC for Leopard Print Onesie :-)

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