This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
This is your brain on drugs. Make that brains — this groovy U.K. outfit have been dealing with a split personality for years.
Initially a hip-hop duo comprised of DJ Ollie Teeba and bassist Jake Wherry, The Herbaliser have slowly expanded their ranks (especially live) to include a rotating cast of guest vocalists, a full horn section, keyboards, drums and even some strings. The transition continues on Something Wicked This Way Comes, the gang’s fourth and most adventurous album. Offering the best of both Herbaliser worlds, the 13-cut disc is divided between Jake and Ollie’s sample-case hip-hop projects and full-band acid-jazz workouts. Most of them adhere to the sinister spy-movie connotations of the disc’s title, from the Bond-like 24 Carat Blag to the Superfly jive of Mr. Holmes. All of them boast infectious grooves, propulsive energy, crazy samples and more style than Fashion Week in Paris. In a word: Wicked.