Brix Smith Start has rustled up several other past members of The Fall (including a pair of Hanleys) for her band The Extricated, who now present to us a post-punk pop-glam vision of post-Fall music. Part 2 is, of course, the group’s debut album, and it makes a great accompaniment to Brix’s book. Released by the Blang! label.
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Well it was a worry. A massive worry but Brix and her fellow the Fall escapees have made the sort of warm and enjoyable album that is the antithesis of the angry slop the Fall churn out these days. Having said that, it's clear that the ideal musical place would be right in the middle of the two which is what made Brix era the Fall the most creative and fertile part of the band's existence. On her own, Brix has all the melodic slanted pop in place but is a little too eager to please. She's like an excitable puppy - the album screams "I'm sexy and sassy, approachable and tuneful and you can have fun with me..."
....exactly all the things the Fall aren't and despite a few cringeworthy moments this album largely succeeds. It's the sort of record Brix could/should have made after she left the Fall in 1989. It is comprised of original songs and re-worked the Fall ones. At first the latter can throw you if you are used to the Fall versions. Both 'Feeling Numb' and 'Moonrise Kingdom' are cleaned up untainted versions of their the Fall equivalents and I see no reason why both can't co-exist with their grimy alternatives. Mostly the album is lively pop punk but particularly on 'Hotel Bloedel' there are moments of the jangling West Coast pop peddled by the Adult Net in that period that Brix tried to be in the Fall and have a solo project.
Look, the album is best when being a tuneful non pretentious indie rock record. Smith-Start sounds unconvincing attempting Mark E Smith style ranting but does haver at her disposal a clutch of great and timeless indie-pop tunes. The biggest compliment I can pay the record is that I keep playing it...and keep enjoying it.
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- Part 2 by Brix & The Extricated
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