The latter half of the nineties saw the band reach a new level of stability. Ian left and Neil returned to the bass – Ken Hancock joined to play lead guitar and Carl Henry became the drummer, where they remained until 2017 (previous drummer Carl Alty joined Northern Ireland punk-poppers Joyrider, although he did continue to appear occasionally at gigs until Christmas 96). The new line-up (including Carl A.) released a 4-track EP Eno Collaboration, 2 of these tracks would appear on the next album the following year, with the title track skewering pretentious bands looking for their next big success.
Voyage To The Bottom Of The Road, their sixth album was released in July 1997 on the faithful Probe Plus and in my opinion its one of the best examples of the band’s work. The album is a mixture of post punk songs combined with lead songwriter Nigel’s continuing love of folk and blues. Standout track (amongst many) is Tonight Matthew I’m Going to Be With Jesus.
Less than 12 months later the Biscuits made the unusual move of releasing another album; they’d previously released a new record every two to three years. Although there are some good songs here (Turn A Blind Eye, Secret Gig) it’s not one of my favourite albums and it sounds a little rushed and tired in places. Still, when it hits, it hits hard. A Country Practice being the best track, and one of the band’s best ‘spoken’ songs.
HMHB closed out the decade with a 3-track ep, which wasn’t really a high to go out on (the title track is the only song that stands out). Not the greatest end to the 90’s for the band but the following decade would see the band go from strength to strength.