Friday, April 30, 2010

The Fall “Your Future Our Clutter”

(Domino Records) GUEST REVIEW by Derek Erdman
I was introduced to The Mighty Fall in 1992. In college I had a radio show that only came through on campus lounge TV sets tuned to channel 6 from 4am to 7am. A guy I had recently met called to request “Athlete Cured” from The Frenz Experiment. I’d never heard or even heard of The Fall at that point, but by the end of that song I was an obsessive. I currently never use the word amazing because I’m convinced that people don’t even know what it means anymore and I silently frown upon people with strong convictions, but I became a believer in something for the first time in my life, and that thing was The Fall. Not having a lot of money and hanging around with kind of the wrong crowd, I soon found myself stealing musical instruments and books out of lockers from the Music & Speech building at Kent State University so I could sell them and buy Fall import CDs for $24 in Columbus, Ohio. I was an asshole. I am not a music critic; I am a person who owns 274 Fall bootlegs. I think The Fall is a whole lot like a sports team, with Mark E. Smith being the team itself and whatever woman he is involved with at the time being the General Manager. There isn’t an era that enthusiasts will agree upon as a heyday, I’ve met people who swear only by 2003-2005, which seems absolutely bats to me. But these last 10 years have been a real sad state of affairs. God, every release since 1990 only offers brief snatches of the once incomparable creativity and imagination that came before. “Your Future Our Clutter” is the newest bunch of songs in the now long line of totally uninspired mild-rock riffage with MES yelping in the same exact style that he has been since 1999’s The Marshall Suite. Of course there are stand out moments, “Bury” is a three part collage of the same song revolving around the rehabilitation of Smith’s broken leg, influenced by what he described as “bloody German painkillers.” “Cowboy George” is a neurotic wobbly surf rock wailer, the beginning of |Y.F.O.C. / Slippy Floor” sounds like it was recorded on a micro-cassette under a pillow. Otherwise, this record is just fucking dull. So, to wrap it up: I love The Fall, I went to college so MES wouldn’t care what I have to say regardless, and The Fall hasn’t made an interesting record for ages. But like the old bumper sticker “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work” says, “A bad record by The Fall is better than a good record by every other band ever.”

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