Critics bemoan the mess found on recent Fall albums and it’s true, they can sound like the mind-vomit of an extreme hoarder too preoccupied with ghosts to organise the clutter into anything resembling good order. But this tumultuous, topsy-turvy world is exactly why Mark E Smith’s The Fall remain one of the UK’s most peculiar propositions.
32 albums (and 41 years) in, Smith still excels in laugh-out-loud song titles and eerie dread – and the music hits more than it misses this time out. Smith’s shamanic cackle is almost too grotesque to bear on the plodding Fol De Rol, and the bass doesn’t growl sufficiently on this double 10-inch release.
But the band’s motorik noise is well oiled, especially on Couples Vs Jobless Mid 30s, and the disarmingly tuneful surf-clank of Second House Now and voodoo boogie of Groundsboy, which recalls late-80s ‘pop’ Fall.
It’s still a weird and frightening world, then.