Sound — 10
"Pills 'n' Thrills And Bellyaches". The album name sums it up really, it contains all of the psychedelic and trippy sounds that you would expect in an album completed at the height of the 'Madchester' scene. The music swirls in a mix of hallucinogenic drugs, taking influences from Hip Hop, Electronic, Indie Rock and anything with a rhythm that you struggle not to want to dance to. The album combines dance-y rhythms with jangly guitars, funky bass lines with humorous, optimistic lyrics. Happy Mondays impress with their hooks and fun melodies.
Lyrics — 9
Sean Ryder does not fail to impress with his strange vision of modern life; he combines his view on sex, drugs and violence and turns them into humorous melodies. Ryder's catchy voice fits perfectly with the music. Borrowing from the Labelle song "Lady Marmalade", opener "Kinky Afro" has a humorous and catchy chorus, that influenced many more 'Madchester' and later on, 'Britpop' bands that would emerge.
Overall Impression — 10
Songs worth a listen include "Kinky Afro", "Step On", "Loose Fit" and "God's Cop". I love Ryder's bizarre view on life, and the way he turns this into catchy, humorous melodies in "Pills 'n' Thrills And Bellyaches". For me, this album would be bought again within a second if it were stolen or lost. This album is possibly the defining album of the Happy Mondays, or even the entire 'Madchester' scene.