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- The Unutterable by The Fall
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 03 July 2014
Absolutely stunning turn of the millenium record from Mark E Smith's long running troupe. Incredibly inventive, this is a confident, strident version of the Fall with ideas bursting from the seams. Lots of sonic detrius has been hurled on the tracks giving a modern, bright sound to the songs which are typically all over the place and range from the standard garage grind to pulsing electronics and even some loungey jazz. This first ever vinyl pressing for the record is not approved by MES but looks the part with decent artwork. Sound quality is a little thin but pump up the volume and you'll be fine.
8/10 jean-marc Customer review, 28th July 2014
The missus has always been a big Fall fan. It's said you can date which years ex-students went to Uni by which Fall albums they have in their collection, though my fair princess has all their studio albums, the soundtrack to her life she calls them.
She has always bought the Fall on vinyl, so I'd assumed that everyone of their 30 odd studio albums was released on that format, so I was surprised to find that 'The Unutterable' hadn't been.
Vinyl, is it a personal thing? I don't think so; there's a much richer, accessible sound to this LP than its cd counterpart. The guitars enliven while the drums resonate throughout. Plus the gatefold cover is a joy to behold with two thick slabs of premium vinyl held within.
The album itself sees the Fall on top form; the influence of then band member Julia Nagle much to the fore. Reviewing individual tracks seems a bit meaningless, as what we get is a holistic package of pop infused slightly lo-fi vibrant musings. Immediate stand out track is probably the anthemic 'Hands up Billy', but other tracks take several few playings to reveal their more hidden and delicate flavours, rather akin to the advantage an expensive perfume has over a blast of cheap scent
'Pumpkin soup and mashed potatoes' is an oddity, with its tongue warmly and lovingly stuck in its cheek, but all in do you really need a review of a Fall album before buying it? As Mark E. Smith once said, 'people wouldn't believe the sun had risen unless they read about it in the Guardian'.
It's the Fall on vinyl, what more do you need to know?
7/10 Paul Hirons Customer review, 2nd July 2014
Whenever you read a review of a new Fall LP in a music magazine the journalist always, without fail, says that it's a return to form for the band. This comment represents lazy journalism and conceals the fact the journalist has not heard a Fall LP for at least 10 years, unable to comment on the up and down musical history of the group. But The Unutterable genuinely represents a return to form after a patchy, disjointed and tumultuous period in the mid-to-late 1990s. The Fall entered the new millennium with a new, younger band and this changing of the guard produced this: a fresh(er) sounding group of songs. As other reviews have stated, it starts off in superb corruscating style with Cyber Insekt and Two Librans, chugs like fug on Sons Of Temperence, and churns with introspective bile in the extraordinary Dr Buck's Letter (a precursor to Blindness). But The Fall being The Fall, and MES being MES, can't quite keep it together and it, Ketamine Sun aside, does, erm, fall away in ramshackle, surreal style towards the end. No matter - this is style as original and interesting as ever and well worth a listen.
* The Unutterable signalled a fertile period for the group, with subsequent LPs The Real New Fall LP and Fall Heads Road hitting new and interesting heights.
9/10 CBrowne Customer review, 24th May 2014
'The Unutterable' splutters into life with the dizzying electronic/ garage-rock spin of 'Cyber Insekt', Smith's fascination with technology that harks back to 'Eat Y'Self Fitter' etc. coming to the fore. 'Two Librans' concerns itself with star signs and Oprah Winfrey, with more of a focus on Adam Helal's lurching bassline and fellow new-ish recruit Neville Wilding's guitar than Julia Nagle's space-y electronics which dominate the opener.
Some songs retain more recognisable Fall sensibilities, like the frantic rush of 'Sons Of Temperance', which is followed by 'Dr Buck's Letter', relying more on a crushing, fuzzy bassline and more of Nagle's electronics, Mark E Smith ranting about Bukowski or something. It's hard to pin it down to any kind of sound, and it's the kind of reinvention that you would be surprised by were it anyone else. 'Hot Runes' leans more towards the band's garage roots, which makes 'Dr Buck's...' and the following 'Way Round' even more surprising, showing the tremendous range of the group on this LP. The claustrophobic, muffled 'Serum' is more new and beguiling Fall Sound.
It doesn't always work - the merits of 'Midwatch 1953' and 'Pumpkin Soup And Mashed Potatoes' are highly debatable, the leader framed by a razzle-dazzle trumpet-led instrumental, but really it just goes to show how mental this guy and group are.
The further you submerge yourself into 'The Unutterable', the more you find yourself exposed to Mark E Smith's demented creative vision. It's arguably one of the group's best, and certainly one of their most varied and weird. It's even more bizarre considering the next year followed one of the group's most reviled releases, the back-to-basics 'Are You Missing Winner?' which largely sounds as if it was recorded in Smith's shed, whereas this benefits from Grant Showbiz's slick production and toys. Classic Fall.
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