The Fall The Real New Fall LP

[Action; 2003]

Styles: post-punk, indie rock
Others: Wire, Gang of Four, Can, PiL

While many of the songs themselves are solid, the final mix The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click), the latest release by The Fall, definitely leaves something to be desired. Most of the music is recorded in a rather flat, muddy, analog sounding fashion (for nostalgia’s sake?), contrasting sharply with the vocals, which are generally mixed way too high. This forced focus on the vocals makes the nonsensical lyrics painfully obvious; “To wear Channel, you have to shave first,” from “Green Eyed Loco Man,” and the incessantly repeated “open the God-damn box” from “Boxoctosos” immediately jump to mind. Others tracks are marred by the band’s amateurish Casio-tinged electronic dabbling. When used tastefully, as on “Contraflow,” the electronic flourishes fill out the songs and add a crunch that, over all, is sorely missing. On the other hand, gratuitous keyboard noises make the track “Recovery Kit” sounds like early KMFDM.

And yet the album still has charm, and it turns out to be extremely catchy. Hours after putting this disc away and going to work, I found myself humming tracks that I didn’t even think I cared for. Although many of the songs feel like missed opportunities, there’s still a lot to enjoy here. The Fall’s signature marching beat is found throughout; and as a whole, the album maintains a somewhat menacing attitude. This makes it good for certain occasions like late night drinking, but really inappropriate for, say, driving around in the country on a bright afternoon.

A great analogy for this album is found in Krang from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; the potential for devastating force is there, but The Real New Fall LP comes off as clumsy because it failed to find a suitable body.

1. Green Eyed Loco-Man
2. Mountain Energei
3. Theme From Sparta F.C.
4. Contraflow
5. Last Commands Of Xyralothep via M.E.S.
6. Open The Boxoctosis #2
7. Janet, Johnny + James
8. The Past #2
9. Loop41 `Houston
10. Mike's Love Xexagon
11. Proteinprotection
12. Recovery Kit