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130) The Fall - Shift-Work

Remember the last album with the unbelievable return of Martin Bramah, well he is away, him and Maria Schofield had started a relationship which Smith wasn’t having so that’s the end of both in the group. Remember Brix had been in the band, but I think we have all accepted Mark can be a right awkward sod.

Kenny Brady pops up again on fiddle and vocals and you can hear his voice on an almost duet Book of Lies. If I had sang on that track, I think people would say I was the best vocalist on the track and I can’t sing for toffee.

Dave Bush is also about but not an official member, but you can hear his influence over the album with The Fall moving towards machine and electrics.

So What about It? starts album fourteen with the megaphone. Always welcome and a lovely guitar throughout with keyboard here and there, strong start.

Then for me two Fall classics in a row Idiot Joy Showland is just The Fall thumping beat, great bass and riff and Smith ranting against Madchester, Edinburgh Man is The Fall doing a ballad with Smith crooning over the top, many are no doubt thinking that sounds bloody awful but its lovely and a welcome change of pace.

Pitsville Direkt has great backing vocals from Cassell Webb, and the underrated Craig Scanlon hits us with fantastic guitar. Four songs in all good.

Book of Lies as mentioned is not great but The War Against Intelligence has us back on track with Brady showing he is much better on fiddle than vocals. Title track Shift Work is softer as is You Haven’t Found it Yet, a bit repetitive but enjoyable enough.

The Mixer has the lot, fiddle, megaphone, and Bush messing about in the background and A Lot of Wind employs whistling over a chugging beat, nothing special.

Rose (the only track Bramah and Schofield appear on) is again more downbeat with Smith speaking/singing through the track.

Sinister Waltz is aptly named with Smith just repeating the phrase “He Must Come Down.”

I would have loved to have heard the songs Bramah would have brought to this but for me its still a solid entry in The Fall catalogue.


GIVE IT A STREAM: Edinburgh Man

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