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200) The Fall - The Marshall Suite

So, in this long going soap opera after the last episode called Levitate the lead man Mark E Smith is in a bit of trouble with the drink and his erratic behaviour and has lost Brix and Si. At least he still has Karl Burns and the wonder that is Steve Hanley, well………


An American tour has happened Smith causes bedlam and Karl attacks him on stage and the band walk off and Smith is also arrested. The band are done. Karl Burns has been in and out, but we will not see him again but his two drum performances with Paul Hanley were majestic. Far more important though we will never hear the bass of Steve Hanley on a Fall record again. A huge loss and no matter what Smith says or doesn’t say The Fall would never be the same without this man. Nineteen years is wonderful service. If you haven’t listened to them, go the two House of All albums where you can hear this wonderful musician again.


So that’s The Fall done then. Well no. Mark E Smith obviously decided to stop slurring his words and give it a go and the record is the strongest they have recorded in a while. It’s not a classic but certainly has its moments.


Touch Sensitive could is one of their most famous songs, many people do not like The Fall and will say they would never listen to them, but they will have all heard that Vauxhall car advert with the wonder scratchy riff and “I know, I know, I know” refrain. More importantly it’s a stomper of an opener.


F-Oldin Money, Bound and This Perfect Day are all cover versions and to be fair all listenable, F-Oldin Money is perfect rockabilly, Bound is an instrumental with added lyrics from Smith and This Perfect Day is not as good as the original by The Saints but is an enjoyable bash through.


Shake-Off, (Jung Nev’s) Antidotes and The Crying Marshall we have heavy drums, feedback, and guitars as Mark shouts over the top of it all. Smith is engaged and when he is engaged this is challenging but enjoyable music.


Inevitable and Birthday Song are reflective, I find it strange hearing Mark use the word “darling” but then I find a lot of the things he does strange.


On My Own ends the album, it’s a rehash of Everybody But Myself and sounds incredibly dated to me.


Whisper it quietly but he may be able to dig himself out of this mess.



GIVE IT A STREAM: Touch Sensitive

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