Cloud Of Black
Casio type percussion and bleeps behind a simple fuzz guitar line introduce some aw aw aws and reverb and echo on the vocals. Chunters along quite happily with nothing dramatic of note until ending with Happy Mondays-esque whistling, crashing sound effects and a final wah wah. 'I'll have it in a cool glass please, and not a red hot one.'
Cloud Of Black (27 Points, 1995)
@ 17.50 PM, June 23, 2008
Noel's Chemical Effluence
From the long, long build up to the jangly end, this is a very slick hidden gem. A bit prog rocky musicwise and randomly obscure lyricwise with drugs, disease and dubious smells dominating. There's even one of those jerky faux Elvis pronunciation things going on near the end. Oh, and a fabulous working in of the word 'abdominizer' too. This and Cloud Of Black are studio outtakes from Shift-Work and Code: Selfish.
Noel's Chemical Effluence (27 Points, 1995)
@ 17.50 PM, June 23, 2008
The City Never Sleeps
The Nancy Sinatra original, 'The City Never Sleeps At Night' on the B-side of 'These Boots Are Made For Walkin' was always one of my favourite songs. I remember covering it myself in an old punk band. Here, the original brass which merely aped the melody line is jettisoned for some deliberately unpoppy keyboard bits in keeping with what sounds like it was purely a Julia Nagle vehicle. Good call.
The City Never Sleeps (Peel session, 1995)
posted @ 13.55 PM, October 29, 2007
A fabulous song powered by an irresistible 4 note motif which anchors the whole thing. Yes, ho ho, I made a nautical reference in keeping with the all at sea metaphors used here, with the captain lying asleep in his bunk. Who is at the helm seems to be the question. The Peel version is less rocky and more dreamy than the album version and features some quick speaking, slurring and a fantastic blood curdling scream, not quite matched on the live version. Apart from trying to uncover the truth, you can tell that MES loves saying 'ensconsed.'
Oleano (Peel session, 1995)
Oleano (Light User Syndrome, 1996)
Oleano (Live, London, 1996)
posted @ 13.55 PM, October 29, 2007
Packed with impenetrable (to me anyway) imagery revolving around death and annihalation during occupation and wartime. Backed with a not unpleasant acoustic guitar and a synthesised brass line which belies the haunting atmosphere. Somehow Aesop is mixed up in it, and 'Purcell appears in the form of an angel.' Unearthly. Sort of.
Pine Leaves (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
posted @ 12.45 PM, October 19, 2007
North West Fashion Show
Ah, the traditional album novelty track. Actually, I've got a soft spot for this one, with its usual parade of in jokes and absurd TV references. It's the backing track - I really like it. Plus the cuttting and pasting of conversational snatches and bad jokes becomes strangely hypnotic after a while. And yet again Richard and Judy rear their ugly heads.
North West Fashion Show (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
posted @ 12.55 PM, October 18, 2007
The original album version with its treated vocals and thrashathon drum and guitars, while no bad, is infinitely inferior to the pre-release rough mix included on the 2006 re-issue with its role call of Cerebral Caustic titles and occasional spirited outbursts of 'Split it!' Other stand out moments on that version include 'Welkommen to the real world', 'It's a joke!' and the teasing around of the phrase 'Wants this/hates that.'
One Day (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
One Day (Pre-release rough mix)
posted @ 13.00 PM, October 17, 2007
Bonkers In Phoenix
According to the MES interview accompanying the 2006 re-issue, the annoying sound effects and swirls of noise behind Brix's saccharin delivery are meant to represent the disorienting snatches of sound experienced at an open air festival when you're positioned between music stages. That sweet melody is irritatingly catchy, especially when largely divorced from MES's twiddlings on the alternative mix. The tannoy announcements are great, though: 'Would all people who want vegetarian burgers go on the left/And those who want meat burgers on the right.' Also love the way he goes 'You never know, though, eh? eh?' because that insistent 'eh? eh?' thing that people do is really annoying. Includes obscure reference to Mr Marc Riley.
Bonkers In Phoenix (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
Bonkers In Phoenix (Alternative Mix, 2006)
posted @ 13.15 PM, October 16, 2007
Intriguing mixture of what initially appears to be a song based on a snippet from a kid's TV programme of someone explaining how to catch insects in a jar, but, more probably is a skewed take on same to make it sound like step by step instructions for one of those 50s dance crazes, which indeed, is one theory posited on the Fall forum. Jed Fury, in the same thread, believes the voice at the end is actually the producer, Mike Bennet. Whatever the source/explanation, it's a lively little fellah involving a handy guitar riff amid the hook clamps and UV guns. 'Absolutely wonderful.'
The Aphid (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
posted @ 14.15 PM, October 15, 2007
I'm Not Satisfied
A Frank Zappa cover from his 1966 debut album Freak Out. Good snarling 'yeah's, but apart from that a fairly straightforward song. I like the way the lines 'Who would care if I was gone?/I never met no one who'd/Care if I was dead and gone' go up and down the scale. Apart from that, I've no idea how closely it sticks to the original, not being a Zappatista, myself.
I'm Not Satisfied (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
posted @ 14.25 PM, October 12, 2007
Apparently inspired by the Pearl City Chinese restaurant in Manchester, as opposed to Iggy Pop's 'Kill City.' Sparse guitar stabbing and even some handclaps. Pre-dating the use of 'Touch Sensitive' in a Vauxhall Corsa ad by many years, MES here quotes one of their earlier ads, 'We asked Vauxhall drivers what they wanted from a garage' adding, in one of those brilliant little MESisms 'Did ya? Did ya?' A bit of wah wah guitaring leads to a strange ending: 'Are you on the ball?'
Pearl City (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
posted @ 12.40 PM, October 11, 2007
'TV man's tarantula' is such a great opening line, and the repeated 'TV man' which follows it sounds so, I don't know... silly. Good deployment of scratchy guitar on this and there's an extra thrill when the bass kicks in about half way through. I have never heard 'fuck' pronounced quite so eloquently or succintly either.
Rainmaster (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
posted @ 13.15 PM, October 10, 2007
Don't Call Me Darling
Powerful duet, especially with Brix ranging from a whisper to a howling rasping scream on the chorus, which must have played havoc with her tonsils. Great punchy rhythm and strident keyboard stomping bumps it along, culminating in the aforementioned howl accompanied by MES's 'Why do people hate beauty? I cannot fathom it.' Strong stuff.
Don't Call Me Darling (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
Don't Call Me Darling (Live, London, 1996)
posted @ 14.20 PM, October 9, 2007
Decent enough song, decent enough fuzzy guitar riff and some nicely obscure phraseology, such as 'violent food' and, more especially, the inexplicably catchy refrain of 'five years in a PC camp.' The Foul version features an actual joke as told by MES and other bits set against the live rendition from 2G+2.
The Joke (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
The Joke by The Foul (Foul Plagiarism, 2007)
posted @ 13.00 PM, October 8, 2007