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170) The Fall - Cerebral Caustic

The usual update in personnel is needed. Bruce Dickinson went back to Iron Maiden, and they got even bigger, and Rat Scabies has just re-joined The Damned so will see but as far as I am aware neither of them were ever married and then divorced from anyone in the band. Brix is back and seemingly shocked by Mark’s appearance and behaviour. Mark, we have learned can be a tad awkward when he wants to be. This will go well.

 

On first listen its also clear that Dave Bush is for the off as well, he appears here and there but Mark is obviously bored with techno and electronic noises.

 

The Joke is a full-on head down of riffs and drumming, it’s not inspiring but does not disappoint. Don’t Call Me Darling really introduces Brix as back as the band lurch into a fuzzy stomp along and Mark croons and Brix tears her throat out on the chorus.

 

Rainmaster has more space as the band keep it tight in the background and Smith waffles over the top about TV mums, interesting tune, Feeling Numb is far more what we are used to with Brix back as her sweet voice takes the chorus and a slashing guitar throughout the track.

 

Life Just Bounces has the mighty rhythm section again proving their worth with a riff that goes round and round in your head before we have the usual cover version, this time Frank Zappa’s I’m Not Satisfied, you will skip it or not be that bothered if you ever hear again.

 

The Aphid is The Fall showing they can do garage punk still if they wish. Bonkers in Phoenix is six minutes of Brix on helium and annoying crashing and swooping noises, not for me but they storm through One Day and Dave Bush may have got to have kept some of his interesting sounds on this one.

 

North West Fashion Show starts with a nice acoustic guitar but quickly descends into nonsense, Mark singing ridiculous stuff about sheep and Richard and Judy’s bastard offsprings and laughter. Its rubbish.

 

After that nonsense, the album ends with the excellent Pine Leaves which seems to be about the horror of the war and is a thoughtful piece with Smith reflective as the band are subdued in the background.

 

This is a confusing record and possibly an insight into where Smith is at. Nothing earth shattering, the odd, good songs, and a few real lows and without doubt the worst Fall album cover.

 

6.5/10

 

GIVE IT A STREAM: Life Just Bounces

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