Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Album Review - The Fall

The Fall – Imperial Wax Solvent
[Castle; 28/04/2008]

Mark E. Smith has recently come under scrutiny, being harshly scathed for his alleged self-parody and cynicism of certain quarters in England and for that matter, the World. However, as always, Smith will just fob this off and probably write about it for The Fall's next album. In fact, there's no “probably” about it. Imperial Wax Solvent is once again Smith throwing musicians on the conveyor belt to re-define the boundaries his band have disintegrated time and time again over the 30 plus years of The Fall's existence.

“I'm A 50 year old man, and I like it” spits Smith, during '50 Year Old Man', which entrenches us right into the now of The Fall. With bass rhythms undulating with a post-punk trademark during tracks like 'Strange Town' and 'Tommy Shooter' it's lyrics of Smith that once again steal the show. Still taking a swipe at the working class beer consumers and weekly bingo attenders of his nation (none better than 'Alton Towers' and 'Senior Twilight Stock Replacer') there's a seismic shift during this affair, with the mocking undertones of 'I've Been Duped' rendering a steely pop aesthetic.

The Fall have never been pinned down and taken hostage by anyone over their three decade life-span. Constantly transforming mutant soundscapes, altering tactics with personnel, and the perpetuating scathing lyrical barrages from album-to-album, it's no doubt The Fall continue to prosper. Imperial Wax Solvent might not rate as the best Fall album to hit the shelves, but it's far from the worst and as long as the platform is still there, Mark E. Smith will continue to rant and do it damn well.

By Simon K

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