Words: Kieran Toms
The Fall - 'Your Future Our Clutter'
"despite critics running out of interesting ways to go about reviewing The Fall, somehow they themselves seem to have had no such difficulty actually creating interesting music"
Writing reviews of The Fall has become so habitual for many music critics that it seems to have become clichéd. It is obligatory to mention that quote from John Peel, seemingly the only quote about them ever, and, particularly with their string of high-quality recent releases, it has become customary to describe the latest album as a ‘return to form.’
Anyway, the point is that despite critics running out of interesting ways to go about reviewing The Fall, somehow they themselves seem to have had no such difficulty actually creating interesting music. I say “they,” and whilst of course to a certain extent it should be He, Mark E. Smith, such is his status, this current line-up has been together for almost eons in Fall terms, and it shows on this album. The band actually veers towards slick, and the clean production adds to the effect, making excellent use of the drums in particular. With this album it seems as if he has been around these members for long enough that they have been well and truly sucked into his world, and some of the magic has rubbed off, and they somehow all ‘get’ each other, even if Smith’s contributions, for the rest of us, remain tantalisingly beyond the depths of complete understanding.
At the end of the day, all the brouhaha surrounded The Fall and their maverick front man and their ever-changing line-up would be irrelevant if they could no longer produce the goods music-wise. Apparently, Domino sent an early version of this album back because it wasn’t good enough, but it is definitely good enough now. Highlights include the monstrous 'Bury Pts 1 & 3', and 'Cowboy George', which could be the soundtrack to some sort of terrifyingly deranged western. Throughout, Smith himself actually sounds relatively chirpy, certainly less out of it than he has done in the past. This album is a fine achievement by a band that could be churning out cheap pastiches of themselves, and almost are. Somehow though, despite sticking more or less to the same formula as they always have, they sound as fresh and entertaining as ever.
'Your Future Our Clutter' was released on Domino in the UK on April 26th. Listen on Soundcloud and purchase through Domino.