The saintly Fall - they can do no wrong!
Mr N Forbes-warren | Newport, South Wales, UK | 08/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let's be honest, you simply can't beat The Fall, for their consistent originality and innovativeness. This essential album from 1988 is no exception. Opening with the haunting FRENZ and the punky, driving CARRY BAG MAN with dominant bassline, this CD takes you through their 1988 LP release(as titled) and also the flip sides of VICTORIA, one of their minor UK chart hits. The other, more well-known ones, their cover of THERE's A GHOST IN MY HOUSE(R. Dean Taylor's Motown release hit) and also the infectiously poppy HIT THE NORTH also feature. But it's the lesser-known, more experimental tracks that deserve a note. ATHLETE CURED, well you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a cross between The Surfaris' WIPEOUT and Spinal Tap's TONIGHT I'M GONNA ROCK YOU - honestly, they stole the guitar riff from here! AN interesting mix complete with a narrative ranta about an athletic star on drugs, methinks! IN THESE TIMES is dark, brooding and poppy, THE STEAK PLACE sees the band experiment with a folky style, OSWALD DEFENCE LAWYER, in spite of it being the weakest track on the CD is a curious tale of the trial of Lee HArvey Oswald. BREMEN NACHT sounds like music from a Mission Impossible chase scene only louder with a repetitive guitar line and sampled horns - Mark E. Smith throws in some German for good measure and rants about a bad gig he played in Bremen, Germany('On minding, my usual timing, on minding, casual setlist') - sometimes you're hard put to hear what he rants - is is 'violence inthe city' or 'barnacles in the sea'? Oh, what the hell. This Fall release delivers the goods and is a breath of fresh air even by today's musical standards. Their cover of The Kinks' VICTORIA does the original justice too. Overall, a must listen!"
winkingtiger | Oakland, CA | 01/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Fall have many albums. Out of the 30+ I own, this one is in the TOP THREE!!! Hear that, you negative reviewers out there at Amazon? How dare you undercut this incredible, indelible elpee! Get your heads out of your collective groinal sockets and rock out to 'Bremen Nacht'! This so-called 'repititous' tune simply isn't long enough for me to climb down off of the ceiling every time I play it. I consider this record to be the pinnacle of the 'Brix' era, with the band at their most inspired and energetic (Sorry, "Wonderful & Frightening World" fans). They also sound like they're having a ball, as opposed to the more somber tone of many earlier outings. From beginning to end, a magical album, so much so, that it's hard for me to single out individual tracks. Just put it in a carry-out bag, man, get it home, and enjoy one of the greatest 'alternative' rant n' roll records of all time!"
Here's My Two Cents Worth
Randall E. Adams | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Fall don't lack for reviews, do they?I always liked "Oswald Defense Lawyer."I believe "Athlete Cured" is about sibling rivalry with an arch totalitarian Iron Curtain twist. The East German star athlete is suffering from some mysterious malady until it is discovered that his brother "Gert" is idling his car below the athlete's window for hours on end. Gert is exiled to a labor camp "and never seen again." Hence, the cure.I've always wondered what "Carry Bag Man" is about. No complaints though. For me, "The Steak Place" is a great send-up of banal mid-size American towns and brutish American gluttony. I have to assume that it looks pretty bizarre to a Brit, even one from Manchester.I don't know what "Guest Informant" is about, but it's great."Hit the North" is one of the Fall's great disco numbers.For me, "Bremen Nacht Alternative" is just endless and boring."Frenz Experiment" was the second album I ever bought by the Fall, back when it was new in 1987. I now have a big shelf full of them, even including the weak late work (because there's always SOMETHING there, even if it's self-parody)."