Energetic But Meandering
Those ever-present post punks are back again. Mark E. Smith and The Fall return following a swarm of live releases and a career-spanning 2-disc retrospective with their proper follow-up to 2003â€šÃ„Ã´s The Real New Fall LP. Fall Heads Roll is an album full of energy. While the overall musical quality is equivalent to standout songs that meander a bit, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s 55 minutes of damn good listening. From the incomprehensibility and heaviness of â€šÃ„ÃºBlindness,â€šÃ„Ã¹ to the hard-rocking â€šÃ„ÃºWhat About Us,â€šÃ„Ã¹ and the flashy cover of The Moveâ€šÃ„Ã´s â€šÃ„ÃºI Can Hear the Grass Growâ€šÃ„Ã¹; they seem reminiscent of past glories (i.e. â€šÃ„ÃºNew Face in Hell,â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºFeeling Numb,â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºTouch Sensitive,â€šÃ„Ã¹ and a great cover of â€šÃ„ÃºVictoriaâ€šÃ„Ã¹ by the Kinks are among others that made them one of the late John Peelâ€šÃ„Ã´s favorite bands), but The Fall doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t sound repetitive. The centerpiece is The Move cover. Smith and company make the mod/hippy nugget their own by doing what they do best: turning up the volume and Smithâ€šÃ„Ã´s snide undertones. A runner-up would be â€šÃ„ÃºBo D,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a high-voltage, Bo-Diddley-beat-infused rocker that can blow the headphones from the listenerâ€šÃ„Ã´s ears. â€šÃ„ÃºRide Awayâ€šÃ„Ã¹ fills out the album with the playfulness of a group completely relaxed. Though the song overstays its welcome a little, Smithâ€šÃ„Ã´s drunken vocals make the tune affable while Steve Traffordâ€šÃ„Ã´s cutting guitar contributes an almost Clash-like reggae vibe.
ame After being at it for nearly 30 years, surprises donâ€šÃ„Ã´t come from The Fall exploring old territory, but in the presentation. Though re-visitation the one setback, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s not a crime or sin in the case of Fall Heads Roll because there are plenty of highlights throughout.