Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The Fall Know Your Clutter Is Our Future
What more can honestly be written, said, or even thought of about Mark E. Smith and The Fall that hasn't already been written and then written again? With a discography that stretches over several decades and is over seventy albums long this Mancunian is one of the most prolific characters to have ever graced the British music scene. He and his band are probably certifiable, probably missing more teeth, probably still drunk, and are most definitely a British musical institution after all these years. From a humble post-punk beginning way back in the late 70's to having a laundry list of former members that's probably longer than War and Peace, it's an awesome thought to think that The Fall are actually still going strong (with new members of course) and still recording albums. That brings us to The Fall's new album, Your Future Our Clutter and as per usual it's an intense white knuckle ride set to music.
Your Future Our Clutter, like so many Fall albums, is a no frills affair that is completely upfront from the get go. This is a the sound of a trainwreck put to music and the ramblings of a man who's part insane and part genius and literally sounds the same way he did thirty years ago. It makes no bones about anything and is so un-pro tooled that it sounds as if it were recorded in my living room with the lights off. Listening to Your Future Our Clutter is like being bottled by four or five drunks all at the same time, it's rough, edgy, and might very well leave a scar but that's half the fun of listening to this band.
You have to hand it to Mark E. Smith, the guy can literally just ramble on, repeat himself for an infinity and beat the living crap out of his band to get what he wants and some how someway it sounds fantastic. Stuff like Your Future Our Clutter shouldn't really ever work because of how raw and bare bones it is, but it's as if the ghost of post punk past haunts every song and Mark E. and makes it work. Surprisingly literate, unsurprisingly unintelligible, Mark E. Smith kind of free thinks as his band marches along with rude basslines, jumpy drums, and atonal/angular guitars. The Fall works like a puzzle and by simply plugging the right pieces together, the songs ooze out and beat you into a coma.
The crazy thing is, despite being clincally dead, Mark E. Smith has written some stunningly good tunes on Your Future Our Clutter. "Bury Parts 1-3," for example, is a punky spiral through a year in the life of Mark E. Smith; from wheelchair, to pain killers, to being able to semi-stand to being healed. It's crazy hyper stuff that proves that you really can teach a old dog new tricks, whether he's in a wheelchair or not.
That in a nutshell is The Fall...this is a band you can't keep down, they are a band that's bucked more trends than you can shake a stick at and survived them all simply because they are so unique, stubborn, and do things their own way. Your Future Our Clutter is the same way, the record refuses to bow down to current musical trends and instead heads off in it's own direction and blazes it's own way forward. Mark E. Smith and his band have come up with another great record in a long list of great records. Your Future Our Clutter will serve to expand the reputation and legend of The Fall and only goes to prove that this old dog still has some tricks up it's sleeves.