HEAVYWEIGHT retrospective of a band that truly deserve the oft-bandied assignation “underground” - even if it has (I mean it definitely has) become less and less of a FEELING and more and more of a marketing technique, a genre, ultimately just a stupid meaningless WORD. Ceramic Hobs have been stuck in reverse this whole time, hurling impulsive, liberating cut-ups of caustic punk, loner-psych, ADHD-drone (what!?), drug-addled folk (the one true kind) and bastard synth-pop. Would it be ludicrous to call them Britain's answer to Smegma?!
By all means follow the long and winding breadcrumb trail of limited CDrs, LPs and cassettes to get the truest and fullest fix of the Hobs - you certainly won't regret it. But butter me lazy when a collection Black Pool Legacy materialises, compiled and presented in spot-on fashion by a label that has worked with the band for nearly 20 years.
Lager-for-breakfast lyricism and deranged yet compassionate songwriting powers this unserviced roller-coaster, turning your stomach and cracking your ribs as it tosses you from the wide-eyed and spiralling, FX-drenched longing of 'Flower' to the stark recital at the end of 'Oz Oz Alice' (which paints a putrid picture that makes even the most eh, PROBLEMATIC Brainbombs skits feel as tame as an episode of Cash In The Attic).
While the band have touched on a plethora of subjects and issues throughout their career - kung fu disasters, chips and curry sauce, the shortcomings of political parties, drug habits or common misconceptions of the mentally ill - arguably the only consistent point on the Hobs manifesto is encouraging people to feel like they can be themselves (uh-oh!), and THAT, surely is their most empowering, important, and ur-DIY statement.
"I can no more change my madness than I can my ethnicticy or my sexual orientation, so I am proud of who I am…”
'MON THE HOBS!
Double vinyl + (gawjus) gatefold sleeve and 12-page booklet with lyrics and madman scribblings aplenty.