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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Fall

Live At The Knitting Factory

Review by Gary Hill

Punk is a weird animal. Don’t get me wrong, I like punk rock, but it’s strange because poor sound quality and other aspects that in other forms of music are considered bad, are like a badge of honor with punk. Such is the case with this CD. A live album, it seems like it’s recorded from some place in the back of a club. The music is distant and a bit flat. The vocals are hard to hear at times. All of this adds to the experience, though, rather than taking away from it. The Fall are really a cool band. They are not limited by the genre of punk rock as many groups have been. Yet, they never move away from it. What I’m trying to say is that there music is always punk, but they are much more open to pulling in sounds from other genres.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Joke
This is the strangest thing I’ve ever heard. A huge chunk of this song is a direct copy of a song from Hawkwind’s Doremi Fasol Latido album. The lyrics are screamed over the top, sort of as an after note, and are not from that song, but the main musical structures here are definitely from that track.
Cyber Insekt
A galloping punk sound makes up this track. It’s another pounding number that’s a lot of fun.
And Therein...
This one is a lot more bass heavy and the vocals are snarled in a cool way. This has a certain amount of old school blues in the mix. It also contains some Celtic textures. In a punk song? – yep!
Burgeois Town
Drums lead this one off and again the bass is prominent here. This has a cool retro rock sound and is one of my favorites on the disc.
Crop Dust
This one is definitely weird. A snarled vocal is thrown out as guitar screams through these weird psychedelic angular lines. It’s unusual for a punk song to be more than about three minutes, but this one tops six and it’s exceptionally tasty.
Kick The Can / F'olding Monkey / Kick The Can Part 2
Regarding my comment on the last track about the length, this one is actually over 8 minutes, but it’s a medley, so I don’t really count that. An almost metallic hard rocking bass line leads this off. The group pound through the snarling hard rocking jam that also has some Hawkwind-like tendencies. When it shifts into the second part of the medley it’s a faster paced jam that has an old school rock and roll sound meets something closer to the Sex Pistols. You might also hear a bit of Ian Drury and the Blockheads here. Next we are back into the original segment, bringing the piece to a satisfying conclusion. A great rock and roll instrumental section finally closes it out. It’s another highlight of the CD.
Mr. Pharmacist
This one has a lot of Sex Pistols feeling to it, but I’m not talking about the Bollocks disc, but rather Swindle. It’s a lot like their take of “Road Runner,” minus the aborted attempts.
Jim's The Fall
Frantic punk that calls to mind The Dead Kennedys, at least in terms of some of the music, this is another fun one. It makes a change to a more pounding, less frantic segment, too.
Antidotes
Other than the punk vocals, this is almost heavy metal.
Way Round
Heavy and pounding, this is quite cool.
Dr. Bucks Letter
While this is listed in the booklet as a separate cut, I think it’s part of “Way Round.” Either that or it isn’t here at all because there are only ten songs on my CD.
 
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