I ate at my favorite local Chinese restaurant the other day, and upon opening my post-meal fortune cookie, I found the following message: “You will soon surround yourself with happiness.” The very same day, the new Fall album was delivered in the post. Instant happiness. I guess it was in the stars. A generic manufactured fortune was dropped in front of me, and it actually came true. Imagine that.
Happiness to me is when I listen to a new album, and then it captures me. I have to have it with me at all times. It goes with me in the car, the gym, when I smoke a cigarette. Even when I clean the house, it has to be playing. I find that this act is a very rare occurrence and the chance of this actually happening is slim to nil. Not many albums reach this high status of listening power. But this Fall album, Reformation Post TLC has been playing everywhere, at all times, since it has arrived.
Reformation Post TLC is a strong progression from The Fall’s past work, which is a hard thing for me to admit. I really love their old albums, and some of the older content is hard to top. But, they’ve succeeded in keeping their good name alive. Some songs do sound like early Fall, which is nice, knowing that they haven’t abandoned the sound that made the Fall what it is.
“The Wright Stuff” is my favorite song on the album, for two reasons. One, keyboardist (and Mark E. Smith’s wife) Eleni Poulou sings the song solo, her only one on the album. And two, this song samples the bass line to the classic Buzzcocks song “Boredom.” Other songs, like “White Line Fever” and “Coaches And Horses” are much less conventional songs. Some people may not like their approach, but to me, these songs prove the Fall still posses a diverse palette. Clearly punk rock is still surging through the band’s veins. They are making what they want (or at least what Smith wants), regardless if people get them or not. The Fall is never-ending. Even though the group’s lineup changes throughout their thirty year lifespan are almost impossible to count, the essence of the band remains the same.
The Fall – Fall’s Heads Roll
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Henry’s Dream
The Mekons – Punk Rock