Found New Facts Emerge one of their more disappointing later albums when it came out, like an Ersatz GB part 2, but it’s grown on me a bit. When I had a glance at their forum at the time I was surprised how many long term fans thought it was their best album in years (though there were still a fair share calling it pish).
The last track being endless interminable bollocks didn’t help my perception of the whole album but there’s some decent stuff on there (love the title track, and I really like when Second House Now bursts into life after fooling you into thinking it’s going to be shit).
Like Ersatz or Reformation though it’s one where I tend to return to my 2 or 3 favourite tracks and rarely bother playing it in full.
Yeah it’s no classic by any stretch! It starts quite strongly but starts to lose it’s way after Couple Vs Jobless Mid 30s (which like Second House Now only kicks in with two mins of the track remaining - the other six mins are somewhat patience testing!). The three tracks after Second House Now are a tad forgettable then Nine Out Of Ten is a limp, meandering turd of a closer. So yeah I get what you mean about their only being a handful of worthwhile tracks. I’ve honestly had the bass hook from Fol De Rol stuck in my head all day!
Gonna spend some more time with last couple of records this week as I’ve not really bothered with them much previously. Other than Clutter & Imperial Wax which are your favourites from the past decade? I think other than those two (and now Facts) I’ve onyl ever given ReMit a couple of plays…
ha yes, i remember saying exactly this when i reviewed it, it gets great at the end but takes an age to get there, but some fans seem to love the weirdness of that one. i guess it’s aiming for a similar thing to 50 Year Old Man only doesn’t do it as well. Fol De Rol is a good one though yeah, got my hopes up for the album when it was released first.
personally reckon Sub-Lingual Tablet is the 3rd best of the last decade after YFOC and IWS. seems to get a mixed reaction surprisingly, probably cos 2 or 3 weak tracks drag it down a little but it’s got some great examples of late-Fall krautrock stuff (which i always thought is late-Fall’s greatest strength). Dedication, Troll, Auto Chip and Junger Cloth are proper good. didn’t get to see any of it live which i regret, recently stumbled across a video of them doing a 20 minute Auto Chip in London!
i think half of Re-Mit is pretty great but the rest is sadly a bit rushed and filler-y. got a bit of a personal fondness for it though as it was the first one to come out after i’d became a proper fan and was seeing them live around that time, and reminds me of a fellow Fall-obsessed close friend who i got to know at that time, so wrapped up with a certain nostalgia for me. Jetplane, Loadstones and Hittite Man are bangers though either way.
Ersatz is a bit shit really, especially considering it came right after IWS and YFOC, but has a couple of good moments like Taking Off and did grow on me a bit after i picked up the CD in a HMV sale. some of it is so utterly ridiculous that it’s enjoyably hilarious, listen to Greenway if you ever want to hear The Fall do bad metal. but definitely inessential. (spotted Reformation for £3 in Fopp at the weekend actually and was tempted but had to remind myself that i hate most of it. i could listen to Fall Sound on a loop for days though).
The Remainderer EP is another one that seems very popular with most fans but i think is just alright. there’s an enjoyable take-down of band reunions on Remembrance R though.
funnily enough i bought a copy of Record Collector magazine in the airport in Manchester yesterday cos i’d heard about a big Fall tribute in it (flicking through the rest of it it feels like a weird old man magazine though), the article i was most intrigued by was Stewart Lee doing a guide to the later albums, from The Marshall Suite onwards.
the fact that he seems to like ALL OF THEM maybe makes it slightly less useful than it could have been but i thought it was a refreshing change from all the other (understandably) 80s-focused retrospectives
Haha yeahhh you can say that again! 50 Year Old Man manages to cover numerous style fairly seemlessly which Couple Vs barely held my attention at all.
Okay will check out Sub-Lingual this week as I’m in total agreement in regards about the Krautrock numbers always playing to later Falls best strength, I can’t name too many slower numbers from their albums from the last decade that would be named as some of my favourites.
That’s cool about the Stewart Lee guide! Even though he seemed to rate them all, were there any that he praised more than others?
the two i read as being the most positive overall are The Real New Fall LP/COTC and YFOC. Entirely correctly.
he describes Re-Mit as the least convincing of the last decade (but says swapping in a few tracks from The Remainderer would have made it one of the best), and i was quite surprised that he seems a little bit cold on The Unutterable.
The Real New Fall LP & YFOC are certainly my favourites of the 2000’s too but there’s plenty of merits and brilliance littered across all of the others. I think Imperial Wax and Heads Rolls certainly come close to matching those two records also. The Unutterable is on my list to revisit though it was one of the first non 80’s records that I first checked out when delving deeper into their catalogue and whilst it was a bit of shock to the system at the time, I remember rather enjoying it - will report back!
Also gave Sub Lingual a blast last night and first thoughts were that it’s pretty ace - great production with a fair number of bangers! Bit weird hearing MES ranting about iPhones and Facebook trolls though!
yeah agreed on IWS and FHR. i was a bit gutted when Pink performed some album track at the Grammys instead of her What About Us? single as i had a twitter joke all planned out that she was boldly covering a late Fall classic in tribute to MES
haha yeah i quite enjoy how incongruous it is hearing him rant about modern technology, find it quite satisfying somehow. think the album would have been more highly acclaimed if only for a couple of tweaks like leaving off Stout Man which doesn’t fit at all. i heard the vinyl mix of the album once and weirdly a couple of the best songs are replaced with stranger, less good versions (i remember one being very lo-fi and most of the Dedication vocals being replaced with a recorded conversation), but frustratingly the vinyl version of Pledge is really great and properly produced/mixed like the rest of the album but they chucked that shit sloppy horribly mixed version on the standard edition. typically frustrating. really want to find the good version again but lost my download
have to make do with the fairly fun Glasto version instead
but generally speaking i tell most people to start where i did, with This Nation’s Saving Grace. you’ll get a range of answers but this one is probably the closest you’ll get to a consensus. tighter and poppier than their early work but retains enough of the early stuff’s weirdness. the albums immediately before and after operate in similar territory if you want more of the same after that.
then depending on what else you’re into:
if you’re into early 90s indie stuff like your Stone Roses (?) avatar would suggest then you might also enjoy Shift-Work. less heavy hitting than their best stuff but unusually melodic.
i found their debut Live at The Witch Trials quite accessible early on as well in a poppy punky sort of way.
Hex Enduction Hour might be their best but it’s a sprawling often messy thing that i had to build up to. but if you’re into noisy post-punk dive in. Perverted by Language has similarly long krautrock-indebted tracks but with a tighter, cleaner sound, which i love a lot.
alternatively if you don’t want to commit to a full album you could give the Slates EP a spin for a short blast of their early 80s post-punk.
there’s a decent compilation called 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong that gives a good overview as far up as 2003 or so but not sure how easy it is to find now, it isn’t on Spotify anymore. i made this fairly career spanning hour-long playlist for another thread a couple of months ago, it doesn’t necessarily focus on the most popular tracks and there’s loads of great stuff missing but gives an overview of some of my favourites, may or may not be of use:
Aha without trying to claim indie points this ^ joke would have gone wayyy over my head as I wasn’t even aware Pink had a song with the same title as the mighty Fall
Can’t say that Stout Man was a track particularly stood out for me on that initial listen. Weird to hear about the differing versions between the vinyl & standard editions. I spotted a copy in a shop the other day and I’m glad I avoided it out now.
Agreed about that Glasto performance of Pledge - it’s absolutely mint! MES looked like he was having a right laugh whilst sharing those vocal duties! You got any other tracks where you prefer their live versions?
Spent a lot of time with American Utopia and some other Byrne material, more Fall records and gave a I’m Wide Awake a couple of spins after hearing At The Bottom of Everything on The Walking Dead - Such a great record! Also really loved that Kindling record @Avery - cheers for bringing that to my attention!