The Fall — ‘New Facts Emerge’

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Although the artwork looks a bit low-budget, and with this writer expecting another inconsistently grubby Fall album after three such, turns out ‘New Facts Emerge’ against all evidence (title influenced by the BrexiTrump / post-truth world?) is pretty much hot. It is also notable that the LP doesn’t seem to feature keyboards or anything electronic ridden (first Fall LP without keyboard since when?). Well, one track does have a bit of collapsed synth-wizardry and electro-piano for a bit. Still, this the record undoubtedly benefits from, allowing the group a fresh kinda re-set. 

Fol De Rol is pure rock ‘n’ roll imitation wrangled with Mark E Smith’s twisted gabble. In fact Smith’s voice (or, ‘voice’) is as barbed and as growling here as has ever sounded. But, again, it seems focused and lively as opposed to possibly parodic and a bit half-assed (bit of an issue with those last few LPs). The way he comes over progressively fucking annoyed on Victoria Train Station Massacre (including the track played in reverse. note: Smith’s voice played backward is a thing of depraved fearsomeness) segues into the title track’s heavy rolling echolalia is an early LP high-point. Smith and the rest of his group seem to be working as a proper team here; this another theme that emerges as this mighty beast of an LP rumbles and scrambles along.

Elsewhere, Couples vs Jobless Mid 30s is the most unFall-like track in a while, sounding like depraved, crawling doom metal before ending in a more straight forward– albeit with typically wired, almost piss-taking, backing vocals–, surf-school playabout. And, guess what?, after all this psychotic end-is-nigh high-wire stuff the group return to some boogie-woogie for pair of tracks Gibbus Gibson and Groundsboy, both fantastically off-centre as they are oddly endearing.

And finally, Nine Out Of Ten is another that sounds kinda different. Smith sounding like a younger version of himself this time, less gurgle more wide-eyed and flawed, as one clean, flexible semi acoustic guitar strums in a most moody and circler way in the foreground as if soundtracking some horror Western made by arty Parisians. This strumming goes on a good five minutes, after Mark has taken hold of his carrier bag and left the room, one suspects.

There’s a tune in there, somewhere.

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