(Birtwistle's) Girl In Shop
A posh thank you at the start quickly deteriorates into a load of drunken rambling over a perky electronic beat which insinuates itself into your brain until you can't stop bouncing it around your head. Utter nonsense, but enjoyable nonsense, nonetheless. How does he do it?
posted @ 13.00 PM, April 01, 2008
(We Wish You) A Protein Christmas
Reworking of Protein Protection (see below) with completely different lyrics, a cheesy organ opening and angelic backing singers. Also incorporates extended ho ho hos and other Xmas clichés such as 'The only thing good to say is/All the politicians are on holiday.'
posted @ 12.35 PM, March 31, 2008
Instrumental outtake. From Conway on the message board of The Fall online : 'Jim Watts guitar, Brian Fanning bass, Dave Milner drums. Dave Milner composed the bassline and drums and Jim improvised the guitar line as it was recorded in a cellar at a mate of Jim's. MES wanted to leave it as an instrumental but then it got dropped from the final cut of the album.' Sounds pretty muxch standard sub Siousxie/PIL fare, but not that bad really. You can imagine it being OK with some drawled obsure lyrics over the top of it.
posted @ 13.25 PM, March 27, 2008
Mad Mock Goth
Doom laden pastiche with melodramatic chords and occasional sporadic percussion. The Mad Mock Goth in question could be one person (see Portugal below for more on this revered character) or a pop at the whole goth scene and death metal throat mangling type singing. There's viagra and 'portaphones' in there.
posted @ 13.10 PM, March 26, 2008
Absolutely hilarious reading out of 2 letters exchanged between the gruppe's manager of the time and the head of the road crew. Sketchy details of the exact nature of the 'debacle' emerge, but no more than that, the snatched excerpts adding to the hilarity. Read by gruppe members, Ben and Dave, accompanied by functional rockist guitars. The word 'snotballs' is a particular highlight.
posted @ 13.15 PM, March 25, 2008
Melancholic, but engaging and invigorating at the same time. The RNFLP version has the bass more prominent with the electronics mixed down and an almost Joy Division-esque synth, whereas the leaked version is much better, with more drums kicking in after a while. Its synth is more Twin Peaks-esque. There's also some added lyrical intrigue: 'Oh Father' and 'How can you curve your hands for a kiss?' Version 2# emphasises the electronics even more and is none the worse for that. A grower.
posted @ 13.15 PM, March 12, 2008
Another rumbler with guitar stabs which explode at various moments with great 'ooohs' (real voices or synthesised?) behind them. There's a vague L Ron Hubbard reference in there and how MES makes simple phrases thrilling constantly amazes me. In this case, it's 'Out of the masses/any time/any time/any time.' A joy. Plus, 'Does everybody talk about the same things all the time?'
posted @ 13.00 PM, March 11, 2008
Mike's Love Xexagon
The Fall do The Beach Boys! Well, not quite, but the back story is most definetely Beach Boys related as MES plays around with the ironically named Mike Love ('love was all around/love was in the air'), who ended up suing his fellow band mates. It starts with thudding, fuzzy drums and a clunky guitar line. The 'When I died' chorus even has some Beach Boys-esque harmonies to further cement the BB allusions, along with Sloop John B and Good Vibrations references. A variation in the leaked version has, 'their hair was sticky up like some old fame academy although they were over 50.'
posted @ 12.55 PM, March 10, 2008
Loop 41 'Houston
Originally a Dean Martin song, composed by Lee Hazlewood. Starts with an electronic noise barrage before launching into the song proper which sounds nice and echoey with some fine twanging and a cheesy sixties guitar solo. Houston is pronounced by MES as Euston, the train station where you get the train from London to Manchester, hence the (e) in the leaked version title. The backing 'Hup hups' sound like barking dogs and are an added treat.
posted @ 13.50 PM, March 7, 2008
The Past #2
Aw, this is a great wee song with some chirpy toy keyboard noises and hopping beat. Again, some great background chants: 'Don't speak/just think/Look down/shut up' and much much more. Also ends with one of those great, 'Hyup!'s. The Fast is a more guitar driven beast and not quite as much fun.
posted @ 13.20 PM, March 6, 2008
Open The Boxoctosis #2
Great sturdy riff and backing chant of 'Open the box, open the box/Open the goddam box!' There's some nice acoustic guitar bits floating in and out of it too, except on the all electric Interim version. I love the rolling bass on the COTC version, but overall, the RNFLP version's probably the best, and has one of those marvellous stuttery bits: 'b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b.' Thoroughly enjoyable, whatever the box is (Pandora's, Toy soldiers, Take Your Pick!).
posted @ 13.30 PM, March 5, 2008
Last Commands of Xyralothep Via M.E.S.
Pure Fall here, if there be such a thing. Another H.P. Lovecraft inspired number (Nyarlathotep was a Lovecraft character) with primitive thumping. A many layered thing with numbered commandments and pearls of wisdom, including 'Avoid fat aggressive men and handsome aggressive men/In conflict they disappear overnight with bad backs.' References and allusions abound, including a meta-reference to Mountain Energei: 'Mountain's waters blocked by dormant tree/See later on this LP' and a swipe at the Vauxhall people, by whom MES was apparently short changed when they used Touch Sensitive for the Corsa ad - 'Beware characters connected with car adverts.' Repeated listenings recommended.
posted @ 13.40 PM, March 4, 2008
An absolute powerhouse of a song live, with strident guitar chops and keyboards. The studio versions are still interesting, particularly the RNFLP version with eerie backing vocals and associated noises. Some darn funny lines too, e.g: 'So I went fishing/A note from a fish said:/Dear dope, if you wanna catch us/You need a rod and a line/Signed the fish.' The Sankey's version has an added reference to Stephen Fry giving builders a cup of tea, while the Barcelona version sees MES acknowledging the Gary Glitter influence at the beginning.
Video here: Mountain Energei
posted @ 11.20 AM, February 27, 2008
Green-Eyed Loco Man
'To wear Chanel, you have to shave first.' Smooth grooming tips from MES start this off. A loud, insistent blend of guitars and electronics, with the Peel session erring more on the guitar side of things. The Interim track is a live version followed by a portion of the original demo for the song, when it was called Ioedo and featured a gas boiler and a few Drambuies at several points.
Video here: Green Eyed Loco Man
posted @ 13.15 PM, February 26, 2008
Grooving With Mr Bloe
Tacked onto the front of the Peel version of Green Eyed Loco Man is this entertaining snippet during which MES improvises moving grooving lyrics while the band shouts out backing vocals. Chewbacca's in there somewhere. For your fact files: The original by Mr Bloe from 1970 was a harmonica led instrumental. Mr Bloe was a pianist by the name of Harry Pitch aka Zack Laurence. He also played harmonica on several TV commercials and the theme to the BBC comedy Last Of The Summer Wine!
posted @ 13.00 PM, February 25, 2008
Fall fans love to debate whether MES is saying 'I hate the country folk so much' as opposed to 'contraflow' on this one. Interpretations aside, it's certainly a powerful, mostly two chord, wall of noise. The Peel version starts with an 'ouch!' and ends with a false ending. The RNFLP version is better, more bombastic, while the COTC version is more dancy/electronica and has a couple of extra treats such as MES singing(!) 'All the controls stuck like fudge on genuine Penine mud' and includes 'A Ted Hughes human.'
posted @ 13.15 PM, February 22, 2008
Theme From Sparta F.C.
Top of the league as far as exhilarating football songs go. Out and out guitar attack along with anthemic chants and bloodthirsty imagery collating ancient Sparta with the modern beautiful game. Or ugly, depending on your football allegiance. Many live versions of this kicking about, but I've highlighted 4 different studio recordings. The Peel one came first and it's an absolute blast. Includes bizarre line, 'you live on Mark Lamarr!' The leaked on the internet version has a muddier mix, much mispronouncings of Galatasaray and an extra taunt at golden haired Chelsea fans, while #2 is faster, more trebly, has many lyric changes, superb backing vocals and drums and is even more exhilarating. Used on BBC's Football Final Score for a while. Hey!
Video here: Theme From Sparta F.C
posted @ 13.40 PM, February 21, 2008