Cannot be killed by Conventional Weapons


Being practically illiterate, I had not heard of the fictional genre of
“steampunk” that apparently incorporates science fiction, fantasy and
alternative history. So I had little comprehension what the TMTWNBBFN’s
album would be like when they bragged they put the “punk into

Apparently named after chalked graffiti discovered at a Jack the
Ripper murder scene, they describe themselves as "Crusty punk meets
cockney sing-songs meets grind core in the 1880s." Fronted by “occult
comedian” Andrew O’Neill this is their second offering of anachronistic
history lessons after debut album “Now That's What I Call Steampunk!
Volume 1” was released in 2010.

After a spoken word intro by ex Dr Who Sylvester McCoy, first track
“Victoria’s Secret” starts like a Slipknot number. But rather than
getting a song dedicated to the delectable world of women’s lingerie, it actually turns out to revolve around the reincarnation of
QueenVictoria’s dead husband, Prince Albert. Zombie-like he has risen
from the grave with a taste for “commoner’s brains”. Nice chorus of
“Zombie Albert”, repeated endlessly, makes me think that the band have
more than a touch of tongue-in-cheek about them.


Then a major change of musical direction in next track “Margate Fhtagn”. Initially it sounds like the Small Faces doing their cheeky Cockney chappies routine. But out of nowhere it morphs into a black metal mid-section that would do justice to Mayhem or Emperor. The storyline may (or may not) have something to do with H P Lovercraft's short story “The Call of Cthulhu”, but the songs then continues to alternate between music-hall and metal throughout. Definitely different.

No true anacho-punk album would be complete without the obligatory rant
at the Government. So when next track starts with an observation that
“Tory rule has gone on far too long”, I thought I was in for standard
Crass/Conflict fare. However the steampunk element shines through as in
fact they are relating the situation in 1850’s Britain in “Doing it for
the Whigs”. A laudable thing as the Whigs contested power with the
Tories largely on a mandate of the abolition of slavery and votes for

To my knowledge there have not been many songs written in homage to
onanism. However, “The People’s Common Sense Medical Advisor” relates
the widely held Victoria view that too much self-relief led to insanity. The track is related by the books author, R V Pearce MD, to one of his patients. However it transpires that this is the good doctor’s excuse for any medical malody. Rather quaint ditty, however you probably don’t want to be singing the infectious chorus “How many times a day do you masturbate?” when standing in the queue at Tescos!

“Free spirit” rounds off side one and unbelievably this track was
originally released on wax cylinder. I kid you not, see here.

And so the album continues in this curious mix of Victoria morality
played out over crunching guitars and drums. Next track “Brunel”
eulogises the work of innovative engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Utilising a Dead Kennedy’s riff the band relate the rampant self
confidence of the world’s premier ship and bridge builder, all done
whilst wearing a “stovepipe hat”. Makes you proud to be British!

Mention should be made of the rest of the band who provide the backdrop
over which O’Neill can rant, Andy Heintz on additional vocals and
guitar, Marc Burrows on bass and Jez Miller on drums. They show their
credentials on the 29 second blitzkrieg that is “A Read Dead Ringer for

I may be wrong, but I can’t think of many songs in the charts today that open with similar lyrics to “1858, sewage and human waste is being
dumped untreated into the Thames. The summer sun bears down and London
starts to drown in a rising tide of its own shit”. Heavy drumming and
guitars gives the track a rather claustrophobic feel as the band wades
need deep in the effluent covered streets of the capital where “Ammonia
burns my eyes, the sky is black with flies”. Nice.

Probably my favourite track is “Tesla Coil” which uses a nice play on
words to tell the story of a (hopefully) mythical early form of birth
control. Recounting the fact that his wife had resorted to having one
fitted to stop him getting frisky in the marital bed, we find that if he makes any improper move it results in “What a shock, what a shock,
10,000 volts shoot through my cock”. And that’s got to bring water to
any mans eyes!


Whilst I think it is fair to say that this album contains more than a
certain amount of mirth, there is an old adage that says “Many a true
word is spoken in jest”.This is no better seen than in penultimate track “Mutiny in the Common Soldiery”. This highlights that in most wars it is common man killing common man, whilst the rich and powerful look on from a respectable distance. The obvious comparison is the insane slaughter played out in World War 1 and the sheer waste of a generation due to the incompetence of the hierarchy. Poignant lyrics give voice to the fact that for the normal soldier “I got more in common with the bugger on my bayonet than the toff who’s telling me to stick it in his guts”. Truly lions led by donkeys.


And to finish off “Poor Georgie”, an acoustic song rather disturbingly
about child taxidermy. Still, all done in the best possible taste!

So there you have it, certainly a unique and ultimately enjoyable album. Whether there is any longevity in the subject matter in open to
question, but it definitely make a refreshing change from the
punk-by-numbers bands that seem to clogging up the genre at the moment.

So check them out for equal measure of comedy and social historic
commentary. The album is released on March 12th and the band tours
various London dens of inequity around this time as promotion.

Bones (formerly Montague John Druitt)