Saturday, May 17, 2008


The re-addition of Martin Bramah to The Fall in mid-1989 meant the group's sound would subtly shift, with many of the aesthetics espoused by Bramah's own project The Blue Orchids reflected both in Fall vinyl product (now being issued by Phonogram) and in live performances from the period. Smith's "snap-together surrealism" was augmented by Bramah's thick, impasto slabs of lead guitar (a rarity for the group) and Marcia Schofield's synth-string orchestrations. At gigs, as an ensemble they were "post-punk neurodelica" given a veneer of bitter, contemporary pop. Also involved was Charlotte Bill, who added baroque oboe and flute ornamentation. Grittily brooding, unexpectedly labrynthine, and gleamingly commercial--thanks in no small measure to Smith's Velvety crooning--their full-length studio piece, "Extricate," was a rich though decidedly overground affair. These live tracks evince a decidedly heavier methodology, beginning with a blistering, pre-release "The Littlest Rebel." Elsewhere, the focus is on the considerable heap of quality non-LP material from this period, such as a brittle and queasy "Arms Control Poseur," featuring 70's cheeseburger guitar leads from Bramah, and a primordially oozing "Error Orror."

01 The Littlest Rebel
02 Butterflies 4 Brains
03 And Therein
04 Arms Control Poseur
05 Popcorn Double Feature
06 I'm Frank
07 Black Monk Theme Part 1
08 Zagreb
09 Bill Is Dead
10 British People In Hot Weather
11 Telephone Thing
12 Hilary
13 Error Orror
14 White Lightning
15 Sing! Harpy