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The Fall - Ersatz GB (Cover Artwork)

The Fall

The Fall: Ersatz GBErsatz GB (2011)
MVDAudio/ Cherry Red Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: JohnGentileJohnGentile
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Esatz GB, the 20th album by the Fall, just drips. While Fall albums are always atmospheric, rarely has the band painted sound on top of sound on top of sound, with layers mixing and melting into each other, and created a distinct scene through so many amorphous movements. On "Mask Search," the ba.
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Esatz GB, the 20th album by the Fall, just drips. While Fall albums are always atmospheric, rarely has the band painted sound on top of sound on top of sound, with layers mixing and melting into each other, and created a distinct scene through so many amorphous movements.

On "Mask Search," the band builds the song around a jazzy bouncing bass, but adds in skittering instrumentation and weird sound effects, to create a scene that is distinctly New York, and distinctly dark. On top of it all, vocalist Mark E. Smith, as par for the course, snarls out a chain of words that sometimes link together to form a narration of a deadly scenario, and sometimes just seem to eb words abutting each other.

But while "Mask Search" is smooth and suggests New York City, "Greenway," with its building and collapsing power chord, is pulled straight from the mosh pit. In the song, a doppleganger of Fall collaborator Peter Greenway, through Smith's voice, rants and growls, spitting vitriol at what may be the group itself.

But, through all the chaotic (and sometimes serene) scenarios, Smith's fascination with sound remains in the front. As with the sludge-riffer "Monocard," Smith brings a buzzing siren up front and allows it to disintegrate into a Sabbath-influenced line, allowing the harsh sound space to stretch out, giving the listener a chance to savor the finer points of the sound itself, before the band comes and harnesses it for their own use.

The Fall is never an "easy" listen, but here the band keeps the music so tight, and blends together the piles of music and noise, that despite the inherent eccentricity of the music, it almost sounds popish. Mainstream listenability probably isn't on Smith's radar, but it seems that on Ersatz GB that the group is so unconcerned with making normal music, that all their sonic experiments and apocalyptic ranting might just accidentally collapse into something downright inviting.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
EchosMyron (January 20, 2012)

Smith is almost as prolific as Robert Pollard, but I don't like his songwriting nearly as much. Respect, though. Bands nowadays rarely go on for more than five years.

eatdogs (January 20, 2012)

OMG a review for The Fall??? i'm happy for this and mark e. smith is a swarmy genius.

essenceoftong (January 20, 2012)

most bands are way past their best 30 years into their tenure and many would argue smith's best work was in the early 80's. having said that, the fall have been having somewhat of an indian summer with their last half dozen or so releases. barring a bit of a post breakup wobble they've been pretty much consistently excellent since the real new fall lp. this album isn't going to be many fans favourite but it is a worthy addition to an awesome body of work.

Half_Idiot (January 20, 2012)

This is actually the 28th, not the 20th, full length from The Fall. I consider them one of my top ten favorite bands of all time but I have only been able to get my hands on maybe 1/4 of what they've released overall. The only song I don't like on this LP is "Greenway," the fake metal song. Their output in the 2000s has been pretty consistently great since the career low point of "Levitate" from 1997.

http://www.markprindle.com/falla.htm - For a MUCH more thorough review of their full discography, which even I can't imagine doing.

If The Fall had a PN profile I'd rate them 5 stars right now. I'm willing to bet a full two dollars that there will be less than five comments on this review.

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