The Fall – Slippy Floor (Action Records) 7″
This new limited edition single from The Fall is nominally a tie-in with the band’s recent tour. However, it seems more likely that it’s been issued to ensure that Mark E. Smith keeps up his record of releasing at least one record per year since 1978.
Slippy Floor is a step back from the relatively slick, digitally-constructed sound of 2008’s excellent Imperial Wax Solvent. It recalls the raw avant-garage style of other recent albums – such as Country on the Click and Fall Heads Roll – but with a more ragged production style.
The lead track is pretty much Fall-by-numbers but enjoyable all the same. B-side “Hot Cake – Part 2” is like a more experimental variation on the same general themes, with extra layers of declamatory vocals and synth squiggles.
What the stripped-down production style of this 7″ highlights is that Smith is sounding slightly more lucid than he has for the last little while. The cut-and-paste approach of albums like Imperial Wax Solvent and Von Sudenfed‘s Tromatic Reflexxions seemed like a creative response to his apparent inability to actually sing a song from start to finish. He appears to have pulled himself together a bit this year.
So, there’s life in the grumpy old bastard yet! And – for fans – this single is certainly worth buying. Hopefully, you can get Action Records‘ slightly crappy ecommerce interface to work before it sells out.