Home > Uncategorized > Your Stylus Decade supplement for the day

Your Stylus Decade supplement for the day

I’m contractually obliged to inform you that The Stylus Decade, featuring the reunion of all your favourite Stylus writers from the mid-90s getting back together to count down the best albums, tracks, and cat photos of 2000-2009, went live with the first fifths of its lists today. If you thought All Saints’ reunion in 2006 was stunning, baby you ain’t seen nothing yet. Anyway, over the coming days ILB will be throwing up a few MP3s to coincide with our albums/tracks written about that day, in some sort of crazy multi-platform web 2.0 branding deal. You know, like that hilarious meerkat from the hilarious insurance hilarious adverts.

To be honest, not to deflate our comeback, but there were really only two differences between Stylus and Pitchfork. Those differences, specifically, were Brits and homos. Pitchfork may have had some of either, but our gays were gayer and our Brits were Britisher. So resultantly, we covered Half Man Half Biscuit (the Brits), country broads with their hair all done up and songs about attacking a cheating lover’s tow-truck with a lump hammer (the gays) and Swedish Europop (gay Brits).

HMHB are the best band of the past 30 years, and thankfully all of those operating under her majesty’s rule at Stylus realised this, leading to them placing in most of our year-end polls. “Achtung Bono” may be their finest work, but that opinion changes on a day-to-day basis. What doesn’t change, though, is that “Surging Out Of Convalescence”, track 5 on it, is probably their most underrated track. Hardly played live, never shouted out as an example of Blackwell’s lyricism… it doesn’t even get a funny fanmade Youtube video.

Starting off with a whole verse dealing with how darts players in soap operas seem to always aim for the bull rather than treble-top (HMHB later went on to include quotes from Sid Waddell on later liner notes), it then somehow manages to get even better. See, this is the problem with reviewing HMHB? You just want to write out lengthy-ass quotes from the songs like a 14-year-old girl with Brandon Urie’s name carved into her vibrator. “Last Ash Wednesday, I had tantric sex and it was shit”. “Is your child hyperactive, or is he perhaps a twat?” “I wrote to the Horse and Hound, to gloat over what I’d done/ I stored their magazine in a data retrieval system”. “The inside of a Halex Three-Star table tennis ball smells much like you’d expect it to”. And a quote from Thomas Hardy as well (“For those whole souls the iron has entered”)! I learned more about Thomas Hardy from this one song than I did from three fucking terms of struggling through The Mayor of Casterbridge.

On the real, I’m not gonna rest until the Norton Anthology has a whole chapter taken up with HMHB transcriptions. And maybe another taken up with Ernie Ladd promos.

Half Man Half Biscuit – Surging Out Of Convalescence (MP3)

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  1. Con
    January 5, 2010 at 8:03 am

    The trajectory of Stylus’ fame (went away with little fanfare, its legend grew, a reunion demanded, a reunion made) is like the Velvet Underground…or Family Guy. Just sayin’

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