An Essay by Mr Lee Morrissey (Moz), on Double Negative, the fourth, and most recently made available full length recorded collection of songs by Messrs O’Neil, Heintz, Miller, and Burrows, who are known collectively as The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing.
It is not without eager anticipation that I took my first listen to this, the latest release by The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing, and I was treated to aural delight as the opening song, Supply and Demand a veritable benjo of a song celebrating the profession of the resurrectionist, that is, those who supply “stiffs” for the use of those at Medical School so that they might gain a greater knowledge of the anatomies and workings of the human body. Their fayre, in their own words supplied to “student cunts (who) are a greedy bunch” of the “elderly and ill not long for the world”, this homage to the capitalist ideals of free market announces “they’re dead anyway, so what’s the fucking harm?” before lurching forward into Baby Farmer, a darker tale of one Amelia Dyer who will, for pay, take away unwanted children born out of wedlock, and drown them in the Thames. Hidden is also a dark telling of an encounter with the occult in a dark London clubb, before Disease Control returns to the theme of advancing society’s knowledge of medicines, cures, and diseases plus causes thereof.
Then we have the delightfully named Obscene Fucking Machine, a true bubble around at Queen Victoria’s son, Bertie, the siège d’amour, which is the special chair he had made and installed at the famous Parisian brothel of Le Chabanais, that would take his immense weight and allow him to have sex with two women at once, and the establishment’s cover up of his behaviour that could make a stuffed bird laugh. There is a very slight nod of respect with a line about the state of the fleet, as Bertie is genuinely creditted with pressing for the reform of the Army Medical Service and the modernisation of the Home Fleet. Bertie was later known as King Edward VII of England.
Next, we have a personal favourite, Occam’s Razor, which in these more modern times is a sceptics anthem, whereby instruments are batty-fanged as conspiracies around the true identity of Jack the Ripper are mocked and a simple statement of fact that incompetent cops (and what mutton shunters are truly bang up to the elephant?) are the reason we’ll never know who Jack really was.
I’ve often thought that more punk acts should address social problems that have already been solved, and where the previous collection Not Your Typical Victorians had commentary on chimney sweeps’ working condition (A Clean Sweep), and Paupers Graves (Third Class Coffin) here The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing’s ire is turned towards children losing fingers in unsafe factories in God is in the Bottom Line. And whilst it’s true that here in England’s Green and Pleasant Land factory conditions have improved, let us not forget that many former colonies and lands even more foreign are not in so fortunate a state.
There She Glows pokes slightly unfair fun at Marie Curie, and finally, mafficking is thoroughly encouraged in There’s Going to be a Revolution, the final song in this short, but truly bricky collection.
Many bands within the barely defined steam-punk subgenre emphasise steam over punk, and musically lean more towards what one might consider Gothic, or even Folk, but The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing do no such thing. This is musically pure punk rock from a band that are not afraid to shake a flannin. So, my dearest chuckaboos be sure to get your dandles on Double Negative at double speed, as I assure you I am not selling you a dog when I state that this is indeed a damn fine recording.
Double Negative is released today the 9th March, the year of Our Lord, 2018, and you can purchase it from Bandcamp for none too many a farthing on bone white vinyl, CD or digital download. You can also ‘ave a canny earful on the Bandcamp player below: