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elphenor 01-07-2019 11:43 PM

#13 Your Future Our Clutter (2010)
Country and Krautrock, a Fall specialty, served up with huge fuzzed out basslines in this delicious return to form

What's Great About it: it's like Marky shook his boots out and decided to show everyone how the **** it's done one more time

accept no imitations, We are The Fall

this album pulsates with a galactic energy, the drums are a thousand degrees, the basslines are heavy enough to crush mountains, and the zany synthetics zip around your membrane like comets and asteroids

MES presides over all of it as if he's commanding the universe itself his speak-sing vocals delivered with an incredible confidence, especially considering at this point he was wheelchair bound

the songwriting here has a very krautrockian way of building tension, typical Fall loops with the bass up front are crafted, but often they are slowly moving towards some end, slight changes occurring in the loops overtime before eventually giving way to ecstatic guitar fury

also notable to the songwriting is how Marky accomplishes a few fist-pumping anthemic lines here something that feels elusive in the 2nd half of the Fall's discography

I don't know what exactly is meant by "Your Future Our Clutter" but it sounds badass, and it's been telepathically imprinted onto my brain since the moment I heard it shouted in the opening track

the whacked out guitar on "Cowboy George" is the type of exciting sound you just won't get anywhere else and the closer here "Weather Report 2" is a dreamy indie-esque track that does it outright better than the collective wannabes of an entire decade

Why isn't it higher on the list: I think this is without a question my favorite post-2000 album, I like it more than the majority of the 90's albums as well, the killer to filler ratio is heavily in its favor

but it's just below having the next level creativity of some of the 80's albums, and Marky being no spring chicken at this point, doesn't have the young snotty punk kick he once had to push things over the top

not a totally fair criticism, but not so bad to be 2nd to only your younger self

elphenor 01-10-2019 07:15 PM

#12 Bend Sinister
downtempo and brooding, Joy Division style post-punk interspersed with garage rock

What's Great About It: this was the perfect place for The Fall to go after the comparatively bright 2 album run of Wonderful and Frightning and This Nation's Saving Grace

it's also the first album to be in part produced by the before mentioned Julia Adamson who always seems to get the most unique sounds from The Fall

different from the previous bombastic assaults, this album offers some slow burning atmospheric tracks that hang like the overcast of a rainy day in Manchester, instead of melodic hooks in the bass you get an ominous rumble as the guitars move back and forth between being sparse and epic, it's an exciting change of pace for The Fall

yet the tracks that end up the most memorable are the up and skipping garagsish 3 minute rockers, Shoulder Pads part 1+2 features one of my favorite MES vocal deliveries the punchy way he delivers the melody chopped up and energized with his stabbing speak-sing style is an absolute joy to listen to

similarly The Fall's cover of "Mr. Pharmacist" is done with such class you'd believe it were their song, the attitude in Marky's squawl enough to give you whiplash by itself

"Terry Waitz Says" sounds like a left off track of Wonderful and Frightening and encourages pogo'ing to the 9th degree

Why isn't it higher on the list: Mark E. Smith writes in his autobiography that he wasn't pleased with the way this one came out

reportedly there were some disputes when producer John Lecki drew the line at using the masters from a standard audio cassette that Marky had been carrying around with a Walkman

some of the slower tracks on this album could benefit from a more experimental attack, additionally the brilliant "Living Too Late" was missing from the original album only to be later added when it was released on CD

elphenor 01-15-2019 02:17 PM

#11 I am Kurious Oranj (1988)

a punk rock ballet, yes The Fall made a ballet

What's Great About It: I mean did you just read the part about this being a punk rock ballet

Ok so you're skeptical "sounds a bit gimmicky", you say

I'd say you don't understand The Fall and how this was perfect for them, the direction they were always looking to go but now finally had the financial freedom to do so given the break-out hit of "There's a Ghost in My House"

one foot in the surreal, and one in the grounded Prole Art Threat

this is the type of thing only The Fall could pull off

don't worry though ye of lil faith this album delivers on the merits of its tracklist as well

the opener is the most bombastic announcement since The Classical, "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" is an experience like receiving 10k volts Marky's voice snapping off like a whip-crack and the sinister "Guide Me Soft" is among the best expeditions into darker post punk the Fall have to offer

just look at this music video for an idea of how crazy and fun this thing must have been to experience

Why isn't it higher on the list: of all The Fall albums this is the one that would have benefited the most from being seen played live for obvious reasons

the album still has some of their best songs on it, but there is a run towards the end that drags a little in a way that may have been remedied by the visual presentation

OccultHawk 01-15-2019 02:50 PM

Dog is Life / Jerusalem is one of my favorites.

elphenor 01-18-2019 08:24 PM

journal is slow moving because I don't have Wi-Fi until I finish moving into my new place

only got cell data

elphenor 02-17-2019 04:22 AM

Welcome to the top ten:

#10 Slates (1981)

the album that's not an album, compact, punchy, ferocious proletariat violence

What's Great About it: One word: visceral

it's been jokingly dubbed The Fall's heavy metal release, this album is a bit like if Mark E Smith shook you by the collar while simultaneously yelling into your face

wanting to release something that the average working man would have time to consume, Slates is technically an EP clocking in at about half the distance of a typical Fall release

this prole thematic influences every part of the EP

the opener "Middle Mass" refers to the working class populated by what he dubs "Slags", or working men, "Prole Art Threat" is exactly what it sounds like and features The Fall's crunchiest head-smashing riff

and in "Leave the Capitol" Marky eviscerates snobby Londoners with deft precision

musically the chaos here is relentless, but vital

nothing feels superfluous and when the hooks start to sink in they are eternal, such as "the boy is like a tape loop" break in "Middle Mass" a moment that's been stuck inside my cranium from the 2nd listen to just this morning when I woke up humming it

Why isn't it higher on the list:
Slates greatest strength is also its greatest weakness, it's The Fall's most consistent release, but as such it's naturally more limited in scope

if you're a fan of Hex Enduction and Witch Trials but haven't heard this I'd say to run not walk, it's about the midpoint of those two albums

OccultHawk 05-06-2019 05:45 PM

Finish this and you’ll probably have JOTY.

elphenor 05-24-2019 11:34 PM

what number are we on... oh yeah

#9 The Frenz Experiment (1988)

The Fall score the two biggest singles of their career and their first top 20 album on this wildly creative pop grab bag

What's Great About it: They say great artists steal, Smith was a pilferer

as he outlines in "Copped it", his personal ode to plagiarism, "it's not what you do it's the way that you do it"

it's the reason why you might not even recognize that "Victoria" belongs to The Kinks and "There's a Ghost in My House" is originally credited to R. Dean Taylor

or even that, "Athlete Cured" comes about when Mark E. Smith decides to keep an impromptu jam of a Spinal Tap track

it's as if he bends these songs to his whim with the sheer weight of his personality, contorting them to the Wonderful and Frightening so well that they might as well have always been Fall songs

and they're the better for it, the singles here are pure Gold

across this 15 track album you get a nice melody of single-hook clap your hand diddys, and dirty punk rockers with a bigger focus on immediacy than previous albums

"Guest Informant" smashes my skull in while "The Steak Place" has me snapping my fingers to an acoustic guitar and the pulsating electronic anthem "Hit the North Part 1" makes me want to dance all night

brilliantly, this album doesn't lose any of The Fall's jagged spite and fury despite the cooled off sound, Marky and Brix's duet has never sounded so dreamy as the album pans in on the attitude laden opening lines

"My friends don't amount to one hand, my friends ain't enough for one hand"

Why isn't it higher on the list: It's really just a bit longer than it needs to be, and "Tuff Life Boogie" could be cut entirely

"Cab it up!" was written around the recording of this album, and would have bumped the album at least a slot if it'd had been present here

additionally while it's understandable this being a more pop orientated Fall album, it's the first to not have one track that's almost purely avant garde and it's a bit of a shame

grindy 05-25-2019 02:05 AM

Good to see you haven't abandoned this!
Haven't heard that one and really curious now.

elphenor 05-27-2019 11:05 AM

The album as a whole is weirdly underrated, it's overall the most colorful Fall experience besides maybe Wonderful and Frightening

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