Fronted by occult comedian / gender spastic (his own words) Andrew O’ Neill, ably assisted by Gerhard ‘Andy’ Heintz, Jez Miller and Marc Burrows, steampunk quartet The Men who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing have released their second album “And This May Be The Reason Why The Men That Would Not Be Blamed For Nothing Cannot Be Killed By Conventional Weapons” or “TMBTHWTMTWNBBFNCBKBCW” (to give it it’s abbreviated title), a satirical and sometimes surreal social commentary on the state on the world during the Victorian era.
After a brief into, the first track warn us about a zombified Prince Albert being “hungry for commoners brains” before being taking on a jolly boys outing to Margate where we encounter a sleeping beast with the classic line “didn’t we have a lovely day, the day we met Cthulu”. The next few song also tell tales of doctors who have the same diagnosis for the cause of every ailment that comes their way, and of a ghost who has a tendency towards indecent exposure during séances.
Later in the album, it tackles the problem of a pre sewerage system London, bemoaning the fact that while we can manage to rule half the earth, back home we were still living in our own filth, and also that during many wars the soldiers had more in common with their foes than the with the officers commanding them. Another of the standout tracks for me has been ‘Brunel’, about the engineer popping up all over the place and solving various problems.
The main thought I had before reviewing this is that albums that mix music and comedy can grow very old very fast, once the joke has been heard a few times, it loses its entertainment and then the music comes under scrutiny even more. Good news with this album is it has been done well and stands up both musically and lyrically. The songs are funny, but there are also some decent tunes on here. Even with repeated listens in a short space of time for the purposes of this review, my enjoyment of it hasn’t dwindled at all, which has to be a good sign.