There’s a hint of what’s going on in this album when you find it described as the fifth and final instalment of a trilogy. The old jokes are still the, err, oldest. But then, Martin Gordon has previous form in the whimsical tradition including membership of Sparks for Kimono My House and with those tongue-in-cheek punks, Radio Stars.
This ‘Mammal Trilogy’, then. A witty and relevant overview of the human condition, a ‘State of the Nation’ address beamed direct from the snug of the Last Chance Saloon? Well, it would love to think so, but it’s a curiously unengaging and flat affair that tries too hard at scoring in the cleverness stakes without leaving you with an appropriate sense of substance. The songs seem like the foundations for a right-on social commentary musical – but one that closed after a couple of weeks of sparsely-attended off-West End performances.
No marks for the stodgy progressive-rock interpretation of ‘I Feel Fine’, but kudos for the genuinely amusing ‘Houston We Gotta Drinking Problem’ (‘I’ve got the right stuff / The only problem is I haven’t got enough’) and big smiles generated by the infectious ‘Talulah Does The Hula From Hawaii’. The verdict, though? Underwhelming.