Essentially an album revolving around a dedication to inebriation, Peter Bibby‘s raw vocals and deceptively intelligent lyricisms elevate what could potentially be a novelty record into a work of ramshackle genius. On occasion resembling a derelict Paul Kelly, Bibby has constructed an album both cathartic and amusing, straddling the line between defiance and compunction.
Getting things underway is the grungy three chord punch of ‘Goodbye Johnny‘ (nice Mudhoney reference) and the bouncy country jangle of ‘River Guts‘.
From here the sordid boozy decline commences in earnest- ‘Bat & Ball‘ appears to be about an intoxicated all night cricket game. The debauchery continues as ‘Home Alone‘ describes a solo spiral into a drunken stoned abyss, cleverley incorporating a Macaulay Culkin namedrop.
‘Hates My Boozin‘ (“she loves my soul but she hates my boozin”) is perhaps the most candid self reflection on the record. “I’m in a constant state of observational learning” is a standout line in another epic lyrical rant that tends to leave the listener siding with Bibby. He’s the alcoholic anti-hero we all want to see triumph.
Highlight track of the album must be ‘Stinking Rich‘. Once again containing enough lyrics to fill an entire record, Bibby comically predicts his own rise and fall in this tale of hypothetical wealth. From owning his own football team, to spending his fortune on Vegas gambling and Amsterdam hookers, to plummeting back to goon drinking and busking for change, it is the pinnacle of Peter Bibby‘s songwriting.
Rounding things off nicely we are left with album closer ‘Cunt‘, a charming ballad paying tribute to a Midland local of dubious character.
Butcher/Hairstylist/Beautician is lo-fi urban poetry filled with integrity. Due to it’s coarse nature it may prove a difficult listen to some, but for those who appreciate great writing from an artist that doesn’t take himself too seriously it will be a very rewarding listen.