What does it sound like?:
Their last two or three studio albums have found The Fall sounding like the received Hepworthian opinion insists they’ve always sounded. ‘Like a drunk tramp fighting a vending machine in a bus station’, or something. And for a long-time fan and staunch defender it’s been tough hearing MES gargle incomprehensibly over boring, repetitive music driven by the worst-sounding keyboards this side of a toddler on a Bontempi.
While by no means a classic, album number 31 is enough to restore your faith if, like me, your fandom has been wavering. Back comes vocal melody and lyrics you can actually hear, while on the music front, Poulou’s tragic keyboards are less prominent and the guitar work more creative than it has been since Imperial Wax Solvent in 2008. Ten-minute psych-epic Auto Chip 2014-1016 is the Blindness we’ve all been waiting for since, well, Blindness, and Fibre Book Troll bristles with aggression and anger. In fact, for twenty minutes or so, this album is as good as anything they’ve ever done, and finds The Fall in all their Beefheartian glory, with singer and band clicking in an unholy and irresistible cacophony, an inscrutable puzzle of music and lyrics. Only Quit iPhone, with its uncharacteristically prosaic title and a sentiment to match, really lets the side down.
I still maintain that the best thing for The Fall would be for Mark E Smith to get a divorce (I don’t really, I wish them all the happiness in the world), but in the meantime this’ll do.
What does it all *mean*?
That there’s plenty of life in the old dog yet.
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
The Fall, and bands influenced by The Fall.