Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Sweeping The Nation Albums Of 2010: Number 28

The Fall don't have returns to form any more as such. Including this, they've really only been off form for one and a half of the seven studio albums they've released in the last ten years. For this, it turns out, very brief sojourn on Domino Recordings they hit a particularly strong paydirt, and one with the same lineup as 2008's Imperial Wax Solvent (and the same lot have just gone back in the studio). Mark E's much vaunted Kraut-garage leanings are given full whack with a tremendously tight sounding backing, heavy of bass and motoring of beat, drilled by Smith's pugnacious one-liners. And, on Cowboy George, a snippet of Daft Punk's Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. As ever, it doesn't need rhyme or reason.

There is something going on with Smith now, though. Pointed riffs and dogged rhythm make their point forcefully around the likes of Bury Pts 1 + 3, in which Smith tellingly refers to "a new way of recording, a chain around the neck", employs coiled guitars and a gonzo beat, wades through foreign kings, municipal buildings and Ben Marshall, the journo responsible for the "shooting grey squirrels" Uncut interview. Elsewhere, when something can be extracted, there's references to medical situations and in particular Smith's recent wheelchair-bound incapacity, funnelled through defiance up until he asks "when do I quit?" on Chino. The very last thing heard on the album is a gnarledly whispered close miked proclamation that maybe sums Smith, and the album in its newly enriched circumstances, up: "You don't deserve rock'n'roll".


Bury Pts 2 & 4

The full list

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