Lancashire Hotpots - Criminal Record
Criminal Record is a different kind of Lancashire Hotpots album. There's much less of the cheeky Northerner that characterised their oddly charming first album, and more a general lampooning of society. Take a quick look at the track list and guess the jokes - you'll probably be right. Some of it's quite clever - there's some neat little musical jokes such as the nod to The Bill theme tune in "Released Without Charge" and they're certainly competent musicians, but some of it comes across like the letters page of the Daily Mail - 'Released Without Charge' is about celebrities getting away with crimes, while 'I'd Take The Cars Off 'Em' - well, take a guess. Broadly speaking, it's amiable enough, but given that they've jettisoned the Northern references that made them unique, the Hotpots are in danger of becoming the poor man's Half Man Half Biscuit. This record isn't criminal - just mediocre.