gullbuy music review

The Fall


Country on the Click


Action Records


The Fall CD coverThe Fall have been on a roll lately, releasing album after album at a pace almost equal to Billy Childish a few years ago. Amazingly, every record has had a new band backing Mark E. Smith.

Luckily, The Fall are not releasing albums to a dwindling pool of die-hard fans, but have found favor with a whole new generation of underground rock fans. The high quality of these records is responsible for the new fans, not any new attention through the press or fashion, though The Fall's music fits in well with contemporary downtown dissonance.

'Country on the Click' is a good record, following the knock-em-out single (We Wish You) A Protein Christmas with the same band. 5 of the songs were co-written with bassist Jim Watts, 2 were co-written with guitarist Ben Pritchard, and 2 were written by Mark E. Smith, Jim Watts, and Ben Pritchard together. This matters, because it shows that Mark E. smith is letting his bandmates have more than stand-in positions in the new Fall. On band member has much more than stand-in status, as background vocalist Elini Poulou is said to be his paramour.

  1. Green Eyed Loco-Man
    The passage with bells or whatever they are makes this song on of my faves
  2. Mountain Energei
    The drum that starts it sounds like Gary Glitter Rock n Roll. Then there is the X-Files sounding keyboard part. All of it is held together by Mark E. Smith's unique phrasing.
  3. Theme From Sparta F.C.
    Very upbeat, with cheers like a football song or Sham 69 shout along, with the soft talking voice of Elini Poulou replacing Jimmy Pursey.
  4. Contraflow
    One of the fastest and loudest songs on the LP.
  5. Last Commands Of Xyralothep Via M.E.S.
    The talking vocals bring us back full circle to Arab Strap, whose vocal style was itself borrowed from early Fall. The song gains intensity as it progresses, till the no wave keyboard starts to cut right into Mark E. Smith's vocal bandwidth.
  6. Open The Boxoctosis#2
    "Open the box, open the box, open the g*dd*mn box" will be sticking in your head, and you'll find yourself singing along to the easy melody.
  7. Janet, Johnny + James
    The music touches on the Doors Love Street without veering too close. The calm voiced lyrics work well with the soft smooth beat and acoustic guitar.
  8. The Past#2
    This one has a real interesting construction. The background vocals sound like a cartoon junkyard dog that talks, and the organ works with the snappy snare to make this one soar. Mark E. Smith floats on top of it all with his poetry/stories.
  9. Loop41 Houston
    A cover of the Lee Hazlewood track Houston. One of the finest tracks on an already fine record.
  10. Mike's Love Xexagon
    The title must refer to Beach Boy Mike Love, as the background vocals are about as close to the Beach Boys as The Fall have ever gotten in their long career. Elephant 6 it is not, but great song it is.
  11. Proteinprotection
    The same music as (We Wish You) A Protein Christmas but different lyrics give second life to that seasonal burst of brilliance from the band.
  12. Recovery Kit
    A song from the 'Protein Christmas' EP.

Faves: 1,3,8,9,10

---Carl, March 2, 2004