- Band named after weapons of mass destruction? Check.
- Band members wearing leather & band T-shirts? Check
- Songs about violence and suffering? Check
- Mix of thrash metal & hardcore punk crossover? Check
- Is it permanently 1988-90? Check
- Spiky mascot creature on cover? Check
- Pointy band logo? Check
- Incredibly long list of ‘thank you’s on the inner sleeve, most of them involving in-jokes? Check*
Let’s face it, this crew have got all the boxes ticked. How come I had to scrabble around on eBay finding this, their first LP? Why haven’t we all been out there buying lavish 7 disc deluxe box set versions of this album? because I think that the record buying public and critics are basically mowists**, all of them. In 1990 the world just wasn’t worthy to confront the majesty of Ooh Crikey, It’s … Lawnmower Deth. But who were these fine fellows from Nottingham?
- Qualcast Mutilator – Vocals
- Mr Flymo – Drums
- Concorde face Ripper – Guitars
- Mightymo Destructimo – Bass
- Schizophrenic Rotary Sprintmaster – Guitar
We’re not in the realms of the overly serious here. No, really! The music is very thrashy (Satan’s Trampoline), real hardcore punk at times too (F.A.T (Fascist & Tubby)) and very, very silly indeed (every single song here). Make no mistake behind the silly voices, sillier song titles and made-up names (I’m guessing)are four guys who really could play this type of music. Best times are those when they stop larking around and smash it up, like on ‘Rad Dude’. This is very, very definitely music for the ADHD generation, who hadn’t quite landed yet, so Lawnmower Deth ended up as prophets without honour in their own land, thrashing away like maniacs and doing silly voices to their hearts’ content.
Best song title? I’m torn between ‘Flying Killer Cobs From The Planet Bob’, ‘Sumo Rabbit & His Inescapable Trap of Doom’ and ‘Can I Cultivate Your Groinal Garden?’ – a straight three-way tie.
Best lyrics? This announcement about the lyrics of ‘Sharp Fucka Blades of Hades’:
Best Tracks? A longer answer needed here. Ooh Crikey, It’s … Lawnmower Deth has some great moments as well as a fair few that grate just as much now as they did in 1990. I’m a sucker for ‘Sheep Dip’, maybe it’s the mention of sheep that stir my Welsh heart, the fact that it’s not too many million miles away from being a very daft corollary to Pink Floyd’s ‘Sheep’ (I kid you not!)^^. At 3:23 it’s virtually their ‘Kashmir’ too, replete with different sections. In more serious hands this would have lent itself to a rant about society, exclusion (of lawnmowers) and alienation – this being we get a great stop/start section where people shout silly things; this makes it even better. Their twice-as-fast cover of ‘Motörhead’ shows exactly how tight a thrash band Lawnmower Deth were.
This is not an album to sit and listen to over and over again, try it with ‘Maim Mower Maim’ I dare you, although it’s a fun snack every so often. Therein lies their problem, strangely considering this was the group that titled a track ‘Got No Legs? Don’t Come Crawling To Me’, people didn’t take them seriously and after a while comedy records to tend to pale. They even moved into sounding more like a So-Cal style punk band after a while before breaking up, nasty. I do really love this album though, the idea of grown men coming together in the studio to create works of this childishness appeals – it must have been so much fun to do.
Basically Ooh Crikey, It’s … Lawnmower Deth is S.O.D filtered through, a gentler Viz Magazine^ sensibility and all the better for it. The whole album is full of very esoteric British references, hell I don’t get half of them and I live here, I guess chunks of it wouldn’t travel very well. Anyone who can diss straight-edge punk, thus is fine in my book:
No meat, no food, no sex,
You never get the opportunity to shop at Next,
You wish you were a big puffy glam,
Then you wouldn’t have to give a damn.
Then I could spray my hair,
About the ozone layer, I wouldn’t care.
I’ve really enjoyed listening to this one again and I can hear distant strains of it in my beloved Municipal Waste’s output, you wouldn’t want to spend every night on Satan’s trampoline, but there’s no harm having a good bounce around every now and then. Stick it to the mowists!
*for example … ‘Nick thanks: Tegsy ‘No Lager, Two Doughnuts’, Dave ‘Nosher’ Grimes, Sarah ‘Gandalf Ate Your Biscuit!’ Robinson’ … I made those up, but you know the sort of thing.
**Mowism consists of both prejudice and discrimination based in social perceptions of differences between lawnmowers and others. It often takes the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems that consider different methods of lawn control to be ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared traits, ability to collect cuttings, closeness of cut, or qualities. It may also hold that mowers and non-mowers should be treated differently.
^If you haven’t had the pleasure, foreign readers, Google it and all shall be revealed (basically a comic with lots of swearing in it).
^^All year long we get a rough deal,
Chewing at grass, enslaved in fields,
Mowers in jumpers we’re destined to be
Slaughtered and turned into Big Mac or Wimpey.