Let’s be honest, there are some artists out there who, once you’ve heard them once or twice, you just want to shut the hell up. Andrew ‘Falco’ Falkous, however, is the absolute antithesis of this. Personally, I think he should be employed as a compulsory speaker at all social gatherings, whether they be weddings, funerals, business pep talks or seminars on the validity of the moon landings. I can honestly think of nobody else who would be capable of elevating such events to near legendary status, with that necessary screwball twist. Why? Because Falkous is fervently unhinged, that’s why. Or, at least, he is in song. Then again, at my father-in-law’s funeral, we all danced to ‘The Birdie Song‘, so maybe that line between mundanity and insanity really IS as fine as they say it is.
The fourth Christian Fitness album sees the erstwhile Future Of The Left man pondering such matters as what other men do in their gardens (“they build gazebos, and then they watch them rot“, obviously), the social acceptability of a canine hairstylist called Bruce, who hates puppies (“give the terriers beehive hairdos“) and, er, penile dysfunction (“Oh no, my God, sorry, it’s usually harder!”). Sometimes the lyrics take on a more serious tone but Slap Bass Hunks almost killed me at least twice by making me laugh a little too heartily during my 60 mile journey down the M1.
It all starts off with one of the most commercial tunes ever to flow from the man’s pen. This is largely due to the impossible-not-to-join-in-with chorus of “fa fa fa fa, fa fa fa fa, fa fa family courts“, and while many of the numbers are backed by what sounds like Rage Against The Machine having a washing machine throwing competition with Half Man Half Biscuit at the local junkyard, the end result is never less than both thrilling and supremely entertaining.
‘Pea (Super)‘ takes quite a drastic diversion, however, perhaps having more in common with Queens Of The Stone Age musically, Falkous’s typically unconventional prose elevating it to ‘standout track’ status (“Say your father died an obvious death when they tied him to a rock/but he’d rather be seen to dine in Gregg’s than admit to how that felt“).
The brilliantly titled ‘Footballers Have Feelings Too‘, meanwhile, has a similar feel initially to FOTL’s ‘50 Days Before The Hun‘ from their most recent album, eventually becoming as gloriously ramshackle as most of the tracks here.
Slap Bass Hunks makes you laugh like tickled hyena, pump your fists in the air in agreement – the Tories, quite rightly, come in for a tongue lashing (“but they’ve made all their money, so fuck him and fuck you“) – and provide us with an education you just couldn’t buy. There are no bees in Manchester. Indeed.
The self released Slap Bass Hunks is out now.