Half Man Half Biscuit released 5 albums and 2 EP’s in the 1990’s, so this post will featured the first half of that year. After reforming in 1990, with a performance at the Reading Festival following, a new single, Let’s Not was issued before the year was out, and this was followed in 1991 by a collaboration with Margi Clarke on a version of Edith Piaf’s No Regrets. The third album, released in October 1991 was McIntyre, Treadmore And Davitt. The album’s title came from a line in the episode of Michael Palin’s Ripping Yarns (Golden Gordon) and the cover is taken from the same episode. The songs are a little slower, more mature in some points and the standout track is Everything’s A.O.R., a song which paints a picture of boredom in the office, petty power struggles and bland musical taste.
Two years later saw This Leaden Pall (referred to by Nigel as their Closer) was released, and two band members left: drummer Paul Wright, who was replaced by Carl Alty, and keyboardist David Lloyd who was not replaced. It’s another album of post-punk tunes written by guys cursed with a photographic memory for the overwhelmingly trivial and banal, and the band sound comfortable exploring their instruments and songwriting skills. Best track to showcase this is Malayan Jelutong.
Another two years go by and the band release their fifth album, Some Call It Godcore, with the same line up as the previous release. It has a similar vibe to Leaden with quite a number of songs being dominated by Neil Crossley’s driving bass riffs, though they do throw a few surprises in now and again; £24.99 From Argos features a very cheap sounding drum machine and has an electro-pop vibe to it, the folky Even Men With Steel Hearts features a nice bass solo and some welcome brass, and the last song, Tour Jacket With Detachable Sleeves, is the first in the long line of ‘spoken story’ songs, a trend that the band would continue on subsequent releases. But my favourite track is Friday Night And The Gates Are Low, a jaunty tale of despair and masochism at Prenton Park.
That’s all for the first half of the 90’s, the post will look at more line up changes, 2 ep’s and probably the best HMHB of that decade.