Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Fall - The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall

Following the release of 1983’s Perverted By Language (click here for that review), the Fall returned with their seventh studio album The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall. Today (October 8th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the album’s release. It went to number 62 in the band’s native UK.

Side one (the “Frightening” side) begins with “Lay of the Land”. It begins with a dark, spoken word section (with a chorus chanting “lay” over and over in the background). It then explodes into a pounding punk piece.

The bass line on “2 X 4” hits you like a large wooden board and drags you along in its wake. The lyrics are a little tough to follow though as the vocals are nearly drowned out by the band.

“Copped It”, another very punk number, makes reference to Elvis Costello and the Attractions.

“Elves” is a rage against the music industry at the time. The song is very raw, and it sounds like it was recorded on the first take – bumps, warts and all.

Side two (the “Wonderful” side) starts with “Slang King”. The music has some elements of the 60’s psychedelic rock of groups like the Doors. The lyrics, however, are not that easy to follow even when you have them sitting right in front of you.

“Bug Day” has a weird, whirling opening that goes round and round like a sink hole. The rest reminds me of a beat-poet reading.

Of all the tracks so far, “Stephen Song” has the closest to a pop sound to it musically.

“Craigness” keeps up with a jangle-pop melody for most of its course, only veering off towards the end.

The original UK vinyl release closes with “Disney’s Dream Debased”, a dark and alternative view of the large entertainment company.

Initially, an extended cassette version of the album was also released which added seven songs. From the Call For Escape Route EP there was “Draygo’s Guilt” (which went to number 99 in the UK), “Clear Off!”, and “No Bulbs”. Two non-album singles “C.R.E.E.P.” (which charted at number 91 in the UK), and “Oh! Brother” (which charted at number 93 in the UK), along with their respective B-sides “Pat-Trip Dispenser” and “God Box” were also on the cassette.

A 1988 CD set included the original UK album, the cassette tracking, fifteen cuts from BBC sessions, and ten live tracks from Pandora’s Music Box Festival.

As I have stated previously on the blog, I was not into the Fall at all back in the day. So, this review was my first exposure to any of the tracks on this album. Unfortunately, they did not do much for me at all. I am not and likely never was the target of their brand of music.

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