The Fall – Your Future Our Clutter (Domino) LP

March 7, 2010 at 12:23 am 16 comments

The Fall 2010

The Fall 2010

With his appearance on the latest Gorillaz multimedia circus of an album, Mark E Smith finally became a caricature of himself, in the most literal sense possible. The British media continues to laud his brilliance and celebrate his increasingly erratic antics but old MES simply isn’t the razor-sharp visionary he used to be. And in recent years, the music he’s released under the banner of The Fall has become distinctly patchy.

Having said all that, 2008’s Imperial Wax Solvent was the most consistently inventive Fall album in ages – a tightly produced exploration of the same ground covered by that recognized late-period classic The Unutterable. The 2009 single “Slippy Floor” suggested that Smith had decided to take the Fall group (such as it is) in a more ramshackle direction.

However, any suspicion that Your Future Our Clutter might be a half-assed mess along the lines of Reformation Post T.L.C. or Are You Are Missing Winner is immediately dispelled by “O.F.Y.C. Showcase” , which actually recalls the noisy epic “No Bulbs” from the group’s mid-’80s heyday. This seems to set the template for Your Future… – longish, raucous minimalist rock jams, excellently produced. The “Slippy Floor” 7″ tracks even make a comeback, in a somewhat fleshed-out form.

On songs like the funky “Mexico Wax Solvent” , Smith actually sounds remarkably lucid. Better still, he’s backed by musicianship and production that is hard-hitting and imaginative in equal measure. Fall fans can breathe a sigh of relief – Your Future Our Clutter is a triumph. It will be released by Domino on April 26th.

Entry filed under: avant rock, MP3s, reviews. Tags: , , .

Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me (Drag City) 3LP Haven’t We Been Busy?

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Drjohnrock  |  March 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    “[L]ongish, raucous, minimalist rock jams”? Couldn’t that just as easily describe Reformation Post TLC (not “Reformation TCL”),
    which you term “a half-assed mess”?

    Reply
  • 2. Biggie Samuels  |  March 7, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Where did I put “Reformation TCL”? I can only see “Reformation T.L.C.” and I didn’t edit it, honest.

    In any case, I’m not sure that description necessarily makes any reference to whether the minimalist rock jams in question were actually any good or not. Maybe the only word which suggests that is “raucous”. To be honest though, I’m not sure Reformation… was all that raucous – it just sounded messy and half-hearted to me.

    This reminds me that I shouldn’t say anything too off-hand about The Fall – Smith’s fans are easily enraged and they will call you on your bullshit.

    See what I mean…?

    http://z1.invisionfree.com/forums/thefall/index.php?showtopic=26552

    Reply
  • 3. fromherewegosublime  |  March 7, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    hey atleast you are getting some visitors.

    Pi

    Reply
  • 4. Biggie Samuels  |  March 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Busiest day ever, actually. Kinda makes me wish I’d taken a bit more time over the post.

    Reply
  • 5. Craig Scanlon  |  March 8, 2010 at 6:03 am

    O dear – a disappointingly “generic” Fall album with:

    1. Hardly ANY decent lyrics.

    2. Virtually *no* memorable songs.

    3. Two songs already released on singles.

    4. One very *average* cover version. Compare it to the original and weep.

    5. Chugga-chugga-riffs-by-numbers.

    Where are the inventive ideas, phrases, song structures of the best Fall music? Where’s the freshness? Where’s the power? Where’s the element of surprise?

    Reply
    • 6. Biggie Samuels  |  March 8, 2010 at 9:16 am

      Well, you would say that wouldn’t you? After all, you’re (almost certainly not actually the real) Craig Scanlon! Seriously, it kind of helps to put even the best recent Fall material into perspective if you stop and think: “What would Craig Scanlon make of this?”

      Reply
  • 7. Haven’t We Been Busy? « Bubblegum Cage III  |  March 8, 2010 at 9:06 am

    […] The Fall – Your Future Our Clutter […]

    Reply
  • 8. Drjohnrock  |  March 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    OK, Sam, the “TCL” was my typo. You still left out the “Post” out of Reformation Post TLC, though.

    I’m a Fall fan but not easily enraged. In fact, I don’t much care for The Infotainment Scan, which many Fall fans consider the Holy Grail. You’re right about Fall fans calling folks out on bullshit, though. I commend you for having the balls to provide the link to the (un-)official Fall fan forum thread in which a number of people blast you.

    Reply
    • 9. Biggie Samuels  |  March 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      I thought the slagging I got on that thread was quite funny, actually. The only bit that irked me a little was the suggestion that I don’t know much about The Fall. Twenty-three years of rabid Fall fandom has to count for something, doesn’t it?

      Do people really like The Infotainment Scan that much? I always thought it was a bit of a poor relation of Code: Selfish.

      Oh and I’ve reinstated the “post” in Reformation Post T.L.C. – thanks for pointing that out!

      Reply
  • 10. Drjohnrock  |  March 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Twenty-three years of rabid Fall fandom? Hmm, almost as long as my streak….

    I hate to generlize, but the British fans on the (un-) official Fall Forum seem to go apeshit over The Infotainment Scan–the US fans, not quite as much. Along the same lines, I really like Cerebral Caustic while a lot of (disproportionately British) fans can’t stand it.

    Then again, 20 Fall fans tend to have 30 conflicting views on every Fall related subject…

    Reply
    • 11. Biggie Samuels  |  March 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      I have a soft spot for Cerebral Caustic too – mainly because it has “Feeling Numb” on it, though. All a matter of taste/opinion innit? I even know a couple of people who particularly like Middle Class Revolt!

      Other things I’ve been meaning to mention:

      1. Domino just announced that the vinyl will have two bonus tracks

      2. I tried the email address that came with that “Craig Scanlon” post and – unsurprisingly – it was a fake

      3. Been listening to Imperial Wax Solvent again and must admit to feeling that it’s quite a bit better than the new one

      Reply
  • 12. grgs  |  March 8, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    I only got ten years of fandom. I love this thing. Reformation and Heads Roll were near misses for me, Wax Solvent was pretty sweet. Er, and Infotainment is pretty sweet I think. But this one is better than most of ’em I think. Has a few breakdowns kinda remind me of “Devolute” (like the end of Cowboy George). In fact at the moment, Cowboy George is my favorite song.

    Hi DJR.

    Oh, and Biggie, thanks for posting a review. I don’t care if you think different than me. Shiftwork sucks!

    Reply
    • 13. Biggie Samuels  |  March 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      Shiftwork is to Extricate as The Infotainment Scan is to Code: Selfish. Has its moments, though. “Book of Lies” is great.

      Reply
  • 14. Drjohnrock  |  March 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Hi back at ya, Greg!

    It seems like I’m the only Fall fan left who waits until an album is released to hear it! If you don’t mind my asking, how did you get a hold of it? You can pm me on the Fall forum or email me if you would rather not mention it here.

    Reply
    • 15. Biggie Samuels  |  March 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

      Somebody sent me a link from a forum. I believe the album was also all over Soulseek pretty much as soon as the promos went out. I hasten to add that I have pre-ordered the vinyl from Domino.

      Reply
  • 16. Your Future Our Clutter (Update) « Bubblegum Cage III  |  April 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    […] here blog was quite possibly the first website to post a (rather half-assed, let’s face it) review of the new Fall album. It seems only right that Bubblegum Cage III should be quick off the mark with some comments on the […]

    Reply

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