Saturday, May 08, 2010

Listening Habits 04.2010

I couldn’t really say that The Fall’s 28th album “Your Future Our Clutter” is a return to form for Mark E. Smith’s troupe because, frankly, The Fall have always sounded great to me. Even when the band is not at its best (2007’s “Reformation Post TLC” is a recent example) it would be foolish to ignore its offerings since it is guaranteed that you’ll find in there flashes of brilliance and musical wit that would put to shame the latest “next big thing”. And every now and then you get a record like “Y.F.O.C.” that reminds you why the great John Peel had said that The Fall should be used as a yardstick for all other bands.

The brutal sonic attack that kicks off with lead track “O.F.Y.C. Showcase” rarely lets up for the duration of the album. “Bury Pts. 1+3” that follows it, is simply devastating - a seamless collage that starts off as a lo-fi recording of punk rock Armageddon before exploding in a super hi-fi distillation of pure M.E.Smith rage, delivered with military precision by the well-oiled rockin’ machine of The Fall that consists of Smith's wife Elena Poulou, Dave Spurr, Pete Greenway and Keiron Melling. It’s newsworthy that this Fall line-up has not changed since last album “Imperial Wax Solvent” and this new found stability seems to have greatly benefitted the band which sounds tighter than ever.

Mexico Wax Solvent” is the album’s “pop” moment with the rhythm section locked in a relentless dance groove while the keyboards playfully accompany Smith’s voice who is actually attempting the rarest of Fall tricks - a melodic refrain. Wanda Jackson’s 1961 track “Funnel Of Love” provides the necessary rockabilly kick we’ve come to expect from the band and as classic Fall covers go, it’s up there with “White Lightning” or “Strychnine”.  Elsewhere Smith delivers cryptic verses about “unseen knowledge, unseen footage, unseen facts” over electrified, electrocuted country and western (“Cowboy George”), gets totally wired as his band goes into perfect ’80s Fall sound mode (“YFOC/Slippy Floor”) or gets uncharacteristically vulnerable, wondering “when do I quit this hospital my darling” (“Chino”), under the influence of his recent misadventures. What remains constant throughout The Fall’s debut for Domino though is the band’s unflinching focus and unrelenting intensity, resulting in its best work since “The Unutterable” back in 2000, an LP that found its way in our Top 20 Albums for the ’00s. I’m convinced that a similar achievement for the new decade is more than possible thanks to the mighty roar of “Your Future Our Clutter”.

Check out here The Quietus' track-by-track presentation of the album and watch below the brand new video for “Bury Pts. 2+4”:

The Fall - Bury Pts. 2+4

And here's what else we've been listening to in April 2010:

Top 10 Albums

1.  Your Future Our Clutter - THE FALL
2.  Nerve Up - LONELADY
3.  Congratulations - MGMT
4.  The Monitor - TITUS ANDRONICUS
5.  Goat (Remastered) - THE JESUS LIZARD
7.  The Optimist - NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB
8.  Fire Like This - BLOOD RED SHOES
9.  Beat The Devil's Tattoo - BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB
10. JJ No3 - JJ

Top 20 Tracks

1.  Bury Pts.1+3 - THE FALL
2.  Intuition - LONELADY
3.  When It Comes - HIGH PLACES
4.  The Overachievers - LIARS
5.  Song For Dan Treacy - MGMT
7.  Lights - INTERPOL
8.  Contact - WOODEN SHJIPS
9.  I Will Be - DUM DUM GIRLS
10. My Whole Life - GUN OUTFIT
11. A More Perfect Union - TITUS ANDRONICUS
13. Lemonade - COCOROSIE
14. Zebra - BEACH HOUSE
15. Fool's Day - BLUR
16. Attack Music - THESE NEW PURITANS
18. Light It Up - BLOOD RED SHOES
19. Fixed - STARS
20. Let Go - JJ

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