The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing are indeed guilty as charged; charged by us of unleashing one of the most incorrigible, darkly mischievous, punk ‘n’ roll gems of this and many other years maybe going back to the Victorian times and arcane deeds theming their sound and glorious new outing, Double Negative. Irresistibly addictive, deviously manipulative, the British outfit’s fourth album is a coming of age of sorts but you can be assured just the beginning of richer shenanigans as they nudge on much greater attention.
Suitably, the band was birthed in the surrounds and history of Old London Town, springing from the new friendship and creative coming together of guitarist/vocalist Andrew O’Neill (SunStarvedDay/Plague Of Zoltan) and vocalist Gerhard ‘Andy’ Heintz (Creaming Jesus). The former was breaking into a successful stand-up comedy career around the time and soon invited the latter to help write and perform some daft songs and play musical saw to enhance his act. The beginnings of The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing were sown, subsequently seeing bassist Marc Burrows (The Pittstops), also a comedian and writer, joining the band with drummer Ben Dawson (Million Dead/ SunStarvedDay) completing the line-up. This was a decade ago and since then the quartet has seen multi-instrumentalist/drummer Jez Miller (Lords Of The New Church)replace Dawson and release three increasingly well-received albums.
Their sound began with a certain air of and was embraced by the steampunk scene but has moved away from that style in heart and music by the release as now boldly proven by Double Negative. The album is pure punk rock yet has so much more to its depths; essences of metal, noise, and rock ‘n’ roll embroiled in its inimitable holler as too a devilish air akin to bands like The Cardiacs draped in that tenebrific and so often grisly Victorian drama and the brazen but never overpowering humour expected of exponents of stand-up.
It is a perfectly balanced and rousing mix which instantly fuels album opener Supply And Demand; a Burke & Hare inspired stomp bringing the listener to their feet from its first breath. Riffs and hooks collude with an inescapable rhythmic swing, the track recalling the heart of seventies punk before spreading its own theatre of enterprise within its cadaver littered tale. It had us bouncing and vocally roaring within a few swift moments, a sign of great rock ‘n roll in anyone’s book.
The following Baby Farmer is just as virulent its temptation and effect as Amelia Dyer goes about drowning unwanted babies in the Thames. The dark nagging bassline had its claws in instincts straight away, Heintz’s vocal snarl adding to the lure as the slim but potent lure of riffs, hooks, and beats. O’Neill’s even rawer backing cries only add to the overpowering persuasion before Hidden entices the listener not only into the broader depths of the band’s sound but its arcane shadows, O’Neill performing a rite called The Bornless Ritual within the song’s infectious prowl. With threads of heavy metal and gothic/psych rock entwining its punk core, the song just enthrals as it infests.
Disease Control is next, the track sparked by “John Snow’s discovery that the Soho cholera epidemic of 1854 was waterborne”. It harries and bustles around ears, its almost carnal climate a dirty punk ‘n’ roll infestation with another hip stirring groove and rhythmic teasing while Obscene Fucking Machine simply seduces from start to finish with its Dead Kennedy’s esque grumble. A damning look at Queen Victoria’s ”big, fat fucking machine” of a son, Prince Bertie, the track is aural addiction in the waiting with its own healthy line in punk twists and rock turns.
Through the Jack The Ripper instigated Occam’s Razor, or rather the money breeding, conspiracy guessing industry grown up in its historical wake, and the raw metal punk scourge of God Is In The Bottom Line, closer attention is only enslaved even if neither quite sparked the level of lust of their predecessors. Each though fingered the wants and desires in our punk appetites which There She Glows and its ‘romancing’ of Marie Curie further rummaged with its Steve Ignorant & Paranoid Visions meets The Ghost Of A Thousand styled boisterous croon.
The album concludes with There’s Going To Be A Revolution, the only fictional track within Double Negative yet certainly one incited by the poverty, injustices, and oppression of the modern world, of any era. It is a raw and imposing tempest of sound and discontent which rubs vociferously on the senses, gnaws on ears, and gives the album a stark and sonically rapacious curtain closer to get the teeth into.
Punk rock always need a new fresh breath to keep it ahead of the game and always seems to find it. Double Negative and The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing is the next wind to arouse and inspire even if a roar soaked in previous centuries and their nefarious adventures. We for one just cannot wait for its companion in the two album cycle started by this real gem.
Double Negative is out now on CD, Cassette, Vinyl and Digital Download via Leather Apron Records across most stores and @ https://blamedfornothing.bandcamp.com
Dates on The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing’s current UK tour:
SAT 17 MAR – York, Fulford Arms
SUN 18 MAR – Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms
MON 19 MAR – Cardiff, Globe
TUE 20 MAR – Chester, The Live Rooms
WED 21 MAR – Leicester, The Shed
THU 22 MAR – Exeter, The Cavern
FRI 23 MAR – London, The Dome
SAT 24 MAR – Southampton, Joiners
SUN 25 MAR – Bristol, The Exchange
TUE 17 JUL – Detroit US, Motor City Steamcon
Pete RingMaster 14/03/2018
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright