Manchester, England’s The Fall is back with the latest in their uncountable number of releases. When I opened the CD I thought, ‘Wow, they really changed their line up.’ But don’t worry: Mark E. Smith and company have merely substituted pictures of themselves with pictures of Rwandans for some reason. However, since The Real New Fall LP there is a new bassist and drummer as well as someone named Dingo joining in on banjo and bass.
For 14 songs and almost an hour, Fall Heads Roll will keep you in thrall as it crashes, rumbles, and thunders. There are respites like Midnight Aspen (4) and its Reprise (6) that allow you to catch your breath, but for the most part this is straight forward aggressive rock and punk rock.
The band sounds great with its stomping chainsaw guitars and sawed off synths, but the real attraction is Mr. Smith twisting the language to get his point across. A lot of lines have the suffix ‘uh appended. As in I read the newspaper-uh. It made me unhappy-uh. and this blunt but effective line from the first track: You’re a nothing-uh. At times the lyrics drip with sarcasm and disdain. Other times he sounds like someone yelling incoherently as he is bring dragged out of a bar. Or maybe he sounds like a battle MC after having a stroke or after dental surgery. Which is to say it is so great.
Flip through the tracks, and you will find something you need to hear. I found that for a few hours after listening to this I had free access to the darker side of my personality. Such is the power of this release.