The band’s 30th studio album to date has a lighter touch than 2011’s bile-fuelled ‘Ersatz GB’.
“‘Re-Mit’ is going to absolutely terrify people. It’s quite horrible,” announced the now 56-year-old Mark E Smith to the world in a recent interview. “The Fall have had enough and we’re coming for you.”
His entrance on this album, ‘Sir William Wray’, lives up to that sinister billing. He appears to be doing some sort of demented impression of a dying helicopter. Still, his band’s 30th studio album to date has a lighter touch than 2011’s bile-fuelled ‘Ersatz GB’.
It’s almost – dare we say – playful. ‘Jetplane’ is a masterfully written and funny tale set in an airline queue, while ‘Hittite Man’ is full of slow-burning menace that terminates with a drawn-out wheeze. ‘Irish’ contains the intriguing couplet: “James Murphy is their chief/They show their bollocks when they eat”. He’s got me there. However, some tracks, like ‘Noise’ and the brilliantly titled ‘Pre-MDMA Years’ just seem like underdeveloped sketches (the latter is partially reprised on ‘Victrola Time’). Far from being terrifying, it sounds like Smith is actually having fun.
Kevin EG Perry
Record label: Cherry Red