The Fall – Your Future Our Clutter (Domino) LP
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.