Ok the first thing that springs to mind is what a mouthful. It’s actually taken me three attempts to type the title correctly after looking at the CD cover bare moments before, which makes a statement straight away, this is an intelligent band that likes to mess with listeners minds as much as they can and who quite successfully achieve this through their music.
TMTWNBBFN classify themselves as Steampunk, which isn’t a musical genre as such but more a genre of Science Fiction based around an alternate history of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries. You could call Jules Verne or H G Well’s classic fiction the inspiration for the genre that has been labelled Steampunk. Though in recent years elements of this new form of fantasy has spread beyond just science fiction, into art, fashion and now music.
TMBTRWTMTWNBBFNCNBKBCW which is even more of a mouthful when you abbreviate it, starts with an atmospheric voice over from the seventh doctor himself, Sylvester McCoy, warning listeners that TMTWNBBFN could rewrite history one song at a time if they are not stopped. This is a nice touch and helps to highlight the Steampunk theme of the album.
‘Victoria’s Secret’ starts off to a classic punk guitar riff and tells the story of Queen Victoria turning Prince Albert into a Zombie to keep him alive. This track is pure Punk Rock, but with some nice complicated guitar work thrown in. Like a lot of their tracks it tells a very clear story, which is something that TMTWNBBFN are incredibly good at doing.
The next track entitled ‘Margate FHTAGN’ tells the implausible story of a holiday to Margate and a meeting with the elder god Cthulhu. What’s interesting about this song is the Cockney sing-along aspect that breaks into Death Metal every time HP Lovecraft’s iconic demon appears.
Political Punk with a Steampunk feel is touched upon in ‘Doing it for the Whigs’, which also includes some interesting lyrical harmonies as well as punk by numbers guitar riffs. While ‘the Peoples Common Sense Medication’, is pure storytelling and warns about the physical dangers of over masturbation.
‘Free Spirit’ a live track is pretty much filler, though it isn’t bad. I suppose it’s interesting in the way that it almost becomes barbershop lyrically.
‘Brunel’ another of my favourite tracks on the album is again pure Punk, though this time taking its hat off more to the oi style of punk than Punk Rock in the traditional sense. While at 29 seconds ‘A Real Dead Ringer for Albert’ speeds past a bit too quickly to pay much attention to and appears pointless compared to the rest of the album.
‘The Great Stink’ although dealing with human waste polluting the Thames is haunting both vocally and instrumentally in spite of the subject matter. Next up the band deal with birth control in a comical way with the track ‘Tesla Coil’ which although not terrible isn’t the best on the album, again the band do manage to blend Punk, Metal and strong vocal melodies together in an interesting way though.
‘Mutiny of the Common Soldiery’ tackles class divide and is again very strong both lyrically and instrumentally. While ‘Poor Georgie’ is another haunting track tackling the subject of accidental human taxidermy with a hilarious twist.
Although I’d class this as a concept album in general, I’d rate TMBTRWTMTWNBBFNCNBKBCW as a definite eight out of ten. It’s a really strong album and well worth a listen, if you appreciate good music. The band has a hell of a lot to offer musically and I’d be really interested to see what the future holds for them. My only concern is that the whole Steampunk thing is a passing fad, which will soon be replaced by the next cool thing to come along, leaving TMTWNBBFN as obsolete as the subjects they sing about.