Released worldwide today, July 28th, the new album by The Fall, has the weight of years working against it. The group has been an ongoing concern for roughly 40 years, and New Facts Emerge is their 32nd studio album. Combine that number with the many singles, live albums and compilations that have been released, and you would be hard pressed to find a person who had not heard, or heard of The Fall. Let alone have no opinion one way or the other, regarding this new album. The lines were drawn a long time ago, love them or hate or turn an indifferent cheek, but ladies and gentlemen, the new album is a triumph.
Perhaps one of the main reasons for the album’s success is the band themselves. It is no secret that over the years band members have come and gone, so much so that a small English village could hardly house a population consisting of ex-members. But the band that appears on the new album has been operating as The Fall now for nearly a decade, and the strength and interplay of the music on these songs is clearly evident. It’s bass heavy, rhythmic, moving like a tide of heavy syrup, a post-motorik kraft rock fashion, with hints of country and rockabilly guitar licks throughout. The watchword on this album, as on so many albums by The Fall, is “Repetition repetition repetition”.
The vocals this time around are mixed down and placed at the sonic level as the music itself. Seeing as how Mark E. Smith has been renowned for years as a unique lyricist of sorts, this production decision only serves to pull the listener’s ear further into the album itself.
On first listen, I was already prepared to love this album. But after listening through from start to end, I believe it is an album that will reveal itself with subsequent visits.
These days, with our Google enhanced inability to remember facts for more than a few seconds, that would seem to be the point. Put it on, listen for the first time, put it on again, listen again, and again.