The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – Double Negative

by Freq | 2018-03-12T14:06:40+00:000000004031201803 14:06

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The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing - Double NegativeThose of you who are inclined towards the comic book medium may remember a short-lived title that ran in the very late 80s and very early 90s called Baker Street. Created by Gary Reed and Guy Davis, the story was, as you’d expect, yet another riff on Sherlock Holmes. The twist this time, though, was that punk had happened in the Victorian era. It was steampunk without the Victorian computers and stuff.

I for one would love to see it get resurrected as a film or a TV series, and if such a thing ever happened I couldn’t think of a better bunch of guys to do the soundtrack than (and now we get to the point) The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. Especially now, with the release of their fourth album, Double Negative.

From the opening squall of “Supply And Demand”, a song about Burke and Hare that sounds like it could be by Conflict, it’s clear they’ve ramped up the punk on this one. A gleefully abrasive instant moshpit classic, it’s a real statement of intent. The lighter comedy numbers aren’t in evidence this time round, though that’s not to say they’ve lost their sense of humour; there are still plenty of chuckles along the way, framed though they are in squalor and deprivation.

The infamous child-killer Amelia Dyer gets a thrashy biography with a supernatural twist, and their love of black metal gets an airing on “Hidden”, in which London’s occult underworld is the theme, and which sounds like a punk Darkthrone, albeit arguably better than when Darkthrone went punk but didn’t really “get” punk.

Of course, they are still men of science, so we get “Disease Control”, about John Snow (not the one who knows nothing off Game Of Thrones, or the newsreader, or the pub, but the one who first discovered that cholera came from contaminated water) and “There She Glows”, a chirpy little number about Madame Curie that, had it been released eighty years ago would have been in incredibly poor taste, but which, given that it’s now 2018, manages to avoid an accusations of “too soon” by quite a long way. “Obscene Fucking Machine” tackles Royal misbehaviour and the Cleveland Street scandal — which was of course connected to the Jack The Ripper case, which the Men savagely debunk on “Occam’s Razor”.

But of course it wouldn’t be real punk without a couple of political polemics — the grindcore of “God Is In The Bottom Line” and the more subdued “There’s Going To Be A Revolution”, with its Killing Joke-esque chugging riff and relentless beats fulfil this role nicely. Oh, and Mr O’Neill gets some occulting done as well, just to round things off. This is a darker, noisier, angrier and more focused Men, and it’s lean, mean and utterly exhilirating.

So should you buy it? Of course you fucking should. Elementary, my dear moshers.

-Justin Farrington-

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