posted @ 13.00 PM, January 29, 2008
Fairly unremarkable instrumental. Hence its exclusion from The Unutterable. Mind you, if polished up, it might have made a good addition to a soundtrack to a cheap horror/crime flick a la Repo Man.
posted @ 13.25 PM, January 28, 2008
Catering to look back bores everywhere, the Free Range riff is resuscitated with a harder metallic punch to accommodate another culinary theme, this time featuring, amongst other delights, 'chicken and chips off the bone.' A tasty way to finish off a truly remarkable and energetic album.
posted @ 13.00 PM, January 25, 2008
A tour de forceful litany of disaffection wound up in imagery of devolution and 'English glasnost.' The two voices of MES harangue and intertwine from different speakers/channels. Sometimes a list, sometimes a letter, signed, 'sincere...yours...smith...geriatric.' The first, noisier, part culminates in the unthinkable scenario (well to me, anyway) 'What would life be like without comedy and music?' Then it takes a sombre turn, ending with an eerie clicking/thumping noise which, for members of the Fall online forum can be either someone thudding on your front door, a cheap biro being tapped impatiently on a cassette box, drumsticks on a masonite/aluminium table, or one of those plastic balls for washing mahines bouncing off a hard linoleum floor.
posted @ 13.00 PM, January 24, 2008
Lots of dinky tinny Casio type bleeping, bleeding synths and whisperings of 'Midwatch' all over the place. Good, solid drumming too. The only lyric, repeated throughout, is 'Who could foresee what happened in 1953/Who could possibly see what happened in 1953?' By the end, it has seeped completely into your brain. MES made a film with Mark Waller called 'Midwatch' about nuclear testing. Operation Totem was the first nuclear test carried out in Britain in 1953.
posted @ 13.20 PM, January 23, 2008
Hands Up Billy
Hang on, is this The Fall? The opening nonsensical taunt by MES, 'Hey, you think you're a steel chest/You haven't got a steel chest on ya!' leads into a storming punkabilly workout, written by and starring Neville Wilding on vocals. A great fun track which, if it wasn't by The Fall, would still be a must hear no frills rocker. I don't know who Billy is, but the song appears to be about his fateful car accident. I like this wee couplet: 'Take her for a test drive on a fatal street/When she says goodbye she's holding a receipt.'
posted @ 13.15 PM, January 22, 2008
Pumpkin Soup & Mashed Potatoes
Mmmm. Nice. The Fall do jazz and it's a gas, daddio. No mean feat. Sounds like it's a cover version, what with the halloween tea subject matter and wistful workaday lyrics, but it's not apparently. A successful pastiche then? Or a quick foray into brass and flutes for a laugh? Does it matter? Like all such Fall quandaries, no. It just is.
posted @ 13.15 PM, January 18, 2008
Nice touch to make the title track the token 'lo-fi banging dustbin lids in a toilet with slurred ad lib over the top' number. I bet MES can't even remember recording it and hasn't listened to it since. Still, nice rhythm on the old dustbin lid, there. Again, the 1st take mentality reveals itself as he's obviously reading off a bit of paper and pronouncing before thinking, e.g 'Post u rings' for 'posturings.' This kind of thing always pleases me. I don't know why. I don't know why.
posted @ 13.05 PM, January 17, 2008
Fierce drums and fuzzed out bass smash through the speakers again in this unrelenting addictive noisefest built around some chemical imagery featuring the mysterious digits 101.1. It's quite a trait of MES to fling in some random numbers which seem significant, pseudo-scientific or just plain absurd, as if plucked from an article/package label/overheard snatch of 'expert-speak' on radio or telly, and just play around with the numerals. Sometimes you try and make sense of it all, and think you might be on to something, and invariably another non-sequitor or ad-lib gets chucked in, such as 'Many have found pleasures in curvaceous women' or 'your lock stock and barrel mentality.' Such is the magic of The Fall.
posted @ 13.20 PM, January 16, 2008
Octo Realm - Ketamine Sun
Wacky band introduction sees Spliffhead, Girlie, Cynical, Ketamine Kettison, Schoolie, Smith, Smartass and Skunklad in a 'New Programme: The Kettisons.' Then one of those lo-fi MES spoken word rambles re-iterates the theme of the new Ketamine drug sweeping the nation's slobs: 'You're a walking tower of Adidas crap.' After this octo realm, some lovely lazy drums with brushes melds into Ketamine Sun itself, meandering along on a mellow soundscape featuring some early Roxy Music like keyboard backing. An intoxicating trip altogether.
posted @ 13.00 PM, January 15, 2008
Some pretty corny, but nifty, sci-fi noises accompany this electronic workthrough. Sounds sort of like Iggy Pop meets Dr Who with that added Fall lyrical weirdness a la 'I stumble into glass disco sweatboxes.'
Video here: Way Round
posted @ 13.00 PM, January 14, 2008
Time for the old twang and roll as impressions of a hot June summer afternoon listening to football pundits and news snippets fills the air. Short and very very sweet with some nice throwaway lines, such as, 'They've turned all cities into animal pens.' Look out for the comical mispronunciation (MES lyrical trope No. 23) of 'hyper-bowl' for hyperbole.
posted @ 13.00 PM, January 11, 2008
Dr Buck's Letter
Dark thumping menacing drums, a heavily distorted bassline and electronic treatments accompany this paean to Charles Bukowski, the anti-social couldn't-give-a-fuck American writer and role model for the disaffected, who worked in the Post Office for many years, hence the subject matter. Ends with the ‘Essence of Tong’ - a Pete Tong checklist from a magazine, which always makes me laugh, as it does MES. Genius.
posted @ 13.20 PM, January 10, 2008
Sons Of Temperance
Oh yes, the energy just keeps pumping on and on on The Unutterable. This blast of electric joy has a half mutated Devo 'Mongoloid' riff and features that strange American accent MES occasionally adopts. I could do with more of the 'chorus' with its 'Roll up!/Voila!' call and 'Sons of temperance' chant, especially the way he pronounces it as temp-er-awnce. Almost French. The disarming, though melodic, change of pace also gives the impression that this could be two song ideas stuck together. The duality of being is given another nod with the 'division in my soul' bits, and who could he be referring to as 'an androgynous piece of slop'? More chorus!
posted @ 13.05 PM, January 09, 2008
MES quoting William Blake - two great visionary poets in one. Marvellous. This has one helluva satisfying groove running through it with a three note keyboard refrain that keeps you waiting for it everytime. You can't wait till the drum comes in, which it reassuringly does after the clipped command 'Hit it!' Pin sharp production values too. Also, pronouncing O.K. as 'oak' so it rhymes with 'broke' is another great lyrical MESism.
posted @ 13.20 PM, January 08, 2008
Another stupendously electric blast of noise which may be a bit too "rawk" for some tastes, but is undeniably powerful. It's got the lot - drums, bass, guitar all exploding together behind the MES drawl. Oprah Winfrey, beekeeping, Chechnya - what more could you possibly want? Oh yeah, the epilepsy inducing video's a blast too.
posted @ 13.05 PM, January 07, 2008
Stormtrooping, blockbusting brilliant song. What's it about? Well, here's Julia Nagle from an interview here: "The song Cyber Insekt, is about that time in New York in 1998. We (our lawyer. Mark and myself) said the whole incident had been incredulous, and we should write a book about it. And being in America, we then laughed about making the 'film of the book, of the film' etc, which in turn became the lyrics, if that makes any sense." The Foul's version mixes the track with Aldous Huxley waxing lyrical about LSD and The Rezillos covering The Sweet's 'Ballroom Blitz' live. Phew.
posted @ 13.30 PM, January 04, 2008