Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Reformation Post T.L.C.
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
"Despite their having influenced such disparate artists as Pavement, Radiohead, and Clinic, success has been elusive for Mancunians The Fall ... the band unleashes a furious rhythmic juggernaut of churning guitar, bass,... more »
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"Despite their having influenced such disparate artists as Pavement, Radiohead, and Clinic, success has been elusive for Mancunians The Fall ... the band unleashes a furious rhythmic juggernaut of churning guitar, bass, and drums while the free association of images really sticks." -- UNDER THE RADAR "The incessant bass crunch and hovering guitar parts drip with fury ... overall The Fall remain, ever shockingly, in excellent form." -- PITCHFORK "A brutal, head-banging rock beast." -- BBC Take a step back to the boiling summer of 2006. The Fall had just successfully completed three out of sixteen US tour dates when suddenly, controversy struck. As Mark E. Smith and keyboardist/wife Eleni Poulou slept soundly in their Phoenix hotel, the band's guitarists and drummer hopped on an international flight back to the UK in an angry huff. It's still uncertain what happened in the desert that May, but whatever it was, it helped take The Fall in a refreshing new direction. Smith and Poulou decided to move on with the tour, a new group of backing musicians were dispatched (a group of Americans?!), and eventually the puzzle pieces fell into place. The tour continued, their scheduled recording session in L.A. was completed, and the end result? The Fall's latest full length, Reformation Post T.L.C. Featuring twelve brand-new tunes set comfortably in angst-soaked garage rock mortar, Reformation Post T.L.C. stands as proof that it takes a lot more than some screwy controversy to stop the fate of Mark E. Smith. Having already inspired many indie rock bands from the early nineties through today, The Fall returns with a new album and a new lesson in rock `n' roll. Reformation Post T.L.C. is the band's latest studio full-length, and third for Narnack following 2005's critically acclaimed Fall Heads Roll. Emerging from working-class Manchester, The Fall formed in 1976 after vocalist and incomparably acid-tongued lyricist Mark E. Smith decided he wanted a more personal vessel for his words, ideas, and obsessions with literature. The group's first full-length, Live at the Witch Trials, soon followed. Many albums and member changes later, Mark E. Smith has lead The Fall into becoming what many critics consider to be the most prolific band of the British punk movement. With his philosophical wordplay, knowledge of appealing song structure, and bitterly controversial personality, Mark E. Smith has managed to front a band with not only a cult following, but an impressive record of success on both the UK and US charts.
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Markster | Laramie, Wyoming | 06/27/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As much as I like the Fall, their latest release is quite the disappointment. Filler is the word that comes to mind. After the first four songs (which are quite good, by the way...Reformation TLC being the stand-out), the material takes a deep plunge into mediocrity. Some of the songs are even dreadful (Das Boot, The Wright Stuff and the Insult Song come to mind in this regard). This CD should have been released as an EP. There is some point being made here, but I'm not quite sure what it is, nor do I care. At least you can't accuse MES of not being in character."
James Biques | Philadelphia, PA United States | 05/26/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am a Fall fan of more than 1/4-century's standing. I've listened to and seen, on disc and in concert, MES' genius at its best, worst and drunken ugliest. This new album is none of the three. While I admire his supernatural ability to regenerate/reform the Fall so rapidly and frequently over the years, this particular Reformation is not something to get excited about. There has always been filler on Fall albums (faller on Fill albums?) but this time around, tracks like Insult Song (you ain't kidding!), The Wright Stuff and Das Boot are actually boring, not places for the listener to pause and catch his breath. In Reformation and Coach and Horses, I hear traces of what this latest Fall incarnation may grow into, as MES really seems to enjoy having a fresh batch of (American!) youngsters to boss around and intimidate. I look forward to the next major recording from these guys (assuming they're still in the band next year, wouldn't be surprised if they've all been sacked or quit as I type), but won't be listening to R-PTLC very often.
Also, what's with the outright appropriation of Beefheart lyrics...in two different songs yet?"
MES, Elena, newest members strip it down (3.5 stars)
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 04/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After another band implosion, this time on the 2006 American tour that found the musicians that had solidly performed on the last two studio discs "Country on the Click/ The Real New Fall Album" and "Fall Heads Roll" abandon leader Mark E. Smith and his wife keyboardist Elena Poulou in the Arizona desert, the re-formed (one estimate for the 45th time) group gives this their 26th or 27th studio recording a stripped down, brittle, and suitably lean sound akin more to their lesser-heard mid-90s efforts. That is, lots of straightforward (relatively speaking if you know the Fall) guitar and keys and drums arrangements in staccato, chugging, playful, or lurching styles. MES out in front from the first lines of song one ranting again at past members' perfidity. MES picking up with a half-dozen or so decent songs that admittedly cut some of the last two studio disc's flourishes and sonic assaults for a less dramatic, more workmanlike, disciplined, and perhaps more modest approach to the music. It draws less attention to itself here.
This by contrast places more emphasis on MES. His lyrics are actually more comprehensible than they have been for the past four or so discs this decade. His autodidact charm and cutting irony balance with him simply having fun taking the piss out of his listeners, who, if like me, should know better than to expect, as I foolishly do each album, a solid and consistent set of songs. Instead, it's a familiar pattern that the last fifteen years at least has established. Not a rut by any means, but this is the template MES and crew use to work within.
First part of the album solid. American cover version: this time an appropriate, given the tour debacle that led to this band's genesis, "White Line Fever" by Merle Haggard. Accusations of speed and drink were lobbed at MES by his former band mates, and the current band was hired on the spot, more or less, from the opening support act. Two of the current band are from LA group Darker My Love. They recorded this album later last year in LA and England/ It lacks "The Usher" from the earlier British release, but adds four tour videos. A no-nonsense approach makes this a respectable if not astonishing later effort from The Fall. which is these days as MES puts it built on the model of himself as football coach and the players his hired hands who do what they're told.
Where in frustratingly endearing Fall style the trail wanders off is with "Insult Song," which continues the first track's invective but with a looser attention to songcraft. Then, with the ten-minute plus "Das Boot," MES' admiration for Krautrock does not prevent this tune from endlesly postponing its resolution, going on endlessly. I get the joke, but it wears out its welcome well before the marathon's ended. The next two songs also match a Fall template, that of albums weakening in their latter third section. "Outro," logically called, does try to rally the spirit, but this is an album that I predict will sound better live.
Production, and I realize the nature of such on Fall efforts, is compressed. Instruments muffle. The highs and lows, the flourishes and bombast, are lacking in a more consistent balance but one that tends too to smother what needs escape and air to shout about. Still, in concert the nuances should emerge much better, and I anticipate-- for once!-- a live album of these songs will (although it's a long shot given the "guy's track record") enliven these songs to better effect. When, as "Horse & Carriage," you base your alt-history fevered vision on such overlooked admirables as Arthur Machen, you are listening to a band under MES' always entertaining autodidact rants and gnomic chants that deserves attention, for more than the tour antics and the annual line-up shuffles."