The Fall - Your Future, Our Clutter
When you consider that many acts struggle to fill their debut album with more than four or five memorable tunes it makes the achievement of The Fall's 28 studio albums (each packed to the brim with sonic alchemy) seem like a fairytale. Yet the hobgoblin king Mark E Smith sits atop a mountain of skulls from those acts who fell by the wayside as his unstoppable chariot ploughed through the ages.
Quite what his methods are and how he "mentors" what seem to be complete strangers into the ways of The Fall are unknown but the results speak for themselves. Yet again a peerless rhythm section underpin the album - effortlessly (at least to the casual observer) balancing the wayward with the precise. The first third of 'Bury Pts 1 + 3' sound like they were recorded over a mobile telephone, before kicking the door open at their energetic and playful best. It's a perfect example of their mastery of production, structure and technique in just over six minutes.
This fine form continues throughout the album: 'Mexico Wax Solvent' feels like a scrapbook of random events pasted together just because they sound good. Mark declares he has "Britain’s lowest prices" and "Fries chicken with a trowel" - whilst chuckling endearingly at his own utterances. 'Cowboy George' is the theme tune to the greatest western you've never seen! You get the feeling that given a box of random audio clips he would be able to hurl them all into the air and assemble them into something glorious before they hit the floor.
Your Future, Our Clutter finds The Fall as lively and inventive as they were on the day they formed. Observers of their previous work will notice placeholders from the past scattered throughout this record; twisted and fused into new forms and structures with only a hint of their past life. Yet again they reinforce the paradigm of unmistakably sounding like The Fall but also coming up with something new in the same breath.
We aren't applauding them for making it into the studio. They have been relevant in every decade and are still as vital and exciting as any other band in the world today. They remain the standard bearers for alternative music and are the bar by which all others are judged.