Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Fall Heads Roll
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
The latest studio full-length from England's most prolific rock band. Fourteen tracks of intoxicating splendor promise to captivate old and new fans alike, laced-up with monumental garage-pop hooks effective enough to c... more »
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The latest studio full-length from England's most prolific rock band. Fourteen tracks of intoxicating splendor promise to captivate old and new fans alike, laced-up with monumental garage-pop hooks effective enough to candy-coat a bruised liver. Pressed on 180 GM black & 180 GM marble vinyl. As Mark E. Smith's band head toward their third decade as the shambolic art-punk outfit that all arrogant art school kids must love even after they've gotten over their own arrogance, the amazing thing is not that they exist or still have a following despite Smith's notorious predilection for doing things onstage to his bandmates not even Rick James would have tried. What's amazing is how good their records still are, and the ways that a singer who looks like the specter of death crossed with Andy Capp who has such a limited range is so consistently engaging. Not as blindingly hateful as their prior two albums, Heads Roll is in fact among the group's finest post-Brix releases. As usual, the group's cover choices are Catholic, and "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" by the Move is on par with their take on "Victoria," which is to say, excellent. This album is long and listeners would do well to program out the last third or so, but thanks to modern technology this is not tough to accomplish. --Mike McGonigal
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Jules | W. Hollywood | 10/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike with most of the Fall's releases over the past five years or so, I did not approach "Fall Heads Roll" with nearly as much skepticism as I did those other recent records. I believe that it was off their website or one linked to it that I downloaded some 2004 Peel Sessions of "blindness," "clasp hands," and "what about us." These were truly excellent recordings, with an intensity that reminded me much of "Hex Enduction Hour."
Their previous full-length "the real new fall lp" is a great album in its own right, and one that can really grow on you, but I just flatly disagree with those reviewers who feel it necessary to cast "fall heads roll" as a somewhat lesser version of it. On the contrary, this record has an intensity that the previous one too often lacks (even though it remains quite engaging). Moreover, the "softer" moments on "fall heads roll" (Midnight Aspen / Reprise) don't at all grate on the rest of the material (which was the major failure of otherwise good early 90s records such as "Extricate," ect), but they instead merge much more organically with their surroundings. One could tell from the last full-length that the Fall had regained much of the sharpness/wit that characterized early classics like "Room to Live" (i love those 'i hate the country' songs), and "fall heads roll" delivers in this area even more satisfyingly.
Mark E. Smith's new wife and keyboardist Eleni plays a significant role throughout the record, and it's great to hear the band gel around her and M. E. Smith. As much as some may hate the parallel, this new(ish) lineup could very well return the band to the creative and catchy heights they achieved in the best of the Brix period. One or two more successive albums like this and there will be little disagreement with such an observation. As it stands now, I'm not quite ready to uncross my fingers. As long as there's not another divorce in the near future (which would very likely thrust Smith into further self-conscious emotional griping that diluted albums like "Extricate"), I will do my best to remain optimistic.
Even in such a case, "Fall Heads Roll" will not become stale anytime soon. Truly a modern classic and, as the previous reviewer suggests, I will not accept any reaction less that enthusiastic from those friends who remain casual spectators into the world of the Fall. And in this case, I don't think I even need to worry about that."
Safe House Breached
Jay F. Bolick | Rose Hill, NC USA | 12/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like some insane jakey escaped from a James Kelman novel MES mumbles his way in near incoherence thru this latest recording. Once again the Smith verbiage is "thrown like a carcass into the whirring propeller" that is the music of the Fall, and once again dark magic is the result. Smith's rant has been reduced to a mumble as he apparently converges with his own mythology. Unlike a Keith Richards, Smith would never stoop to minstrilize himself with drunken affectation, but the drink has always been there. It was certainly there back in 1983 when my interview with him for a Philly zine quickly morphed into a 3 hour afternoon drinking session at a local Irish pub.
He was brilliant then and he remains brilliant now. Over 3 decades, no band to have emerged from the original 77 punk scene can come close to rivaling the Fall in terms of the shear quantity of good music produced. The new band are incredibly hot, more obviously so here than on "Click". Like Captain Beefheart with his voice ravaged by MS on his final recording "Ice Cream for Crow", Smith is so far ahead of his contemporaries that he will be more interesting than them until the moment he keels over and can't even manage a mumble any more. The worst song The Fall ever recorded is of more substance than the best song that a "Franz Ferdinand" could ever imagine."
The Mighty Fall
D. Prey-harbaugh | Pennsylvania | 10/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Fall just released one of the best albums of their careers. Fall Heads Roll comes through on every level. The Fall is a truly unique band and incredible on so many fronts, but the pleasures inherent in The Fall are often subtle and apparent after repeated listenings. The new album is immediately breathtaking with humor, vitriol, noise, all benefited by clear punchy production. Every moment is genius and control. Finally here is a Fall disc that you can pass onto those friends who you have been trying to convert for years."