Influential Manchester, England post-punk band The Fall have just unveiled their 29th studio album Ersatz G.B on Cherry Red Records/MVD.
Boasting a slightly rawer sound than 2010's Your Future, Our Clutter, it finds vocalist Mark E. Smith co-producing with Simon Archer and in a cantankerous mood, as usual.
Surprisingly, the lineup remains the same for the third time in a row - reportedly the first time that's happened since Smith formed the group in 1976: Peter Greenway (lead guitar), Keiron Melling (drums) and Elena Poulou (keyboards/vocals).
Three of the songs stretch past the six-minute mark as Smith spits out stream of consciousness rants, that are both puzzling and humorous.
On the rockabilly-leaning "Mask Search," he admits his disgust about Snow Patrol's omnipresence and on "Nate Will Not Return," references a character from TV's "Gossip Girl." The truly bizarre track (what would a Fall disc be without one) is definitely the heavy "Greenway," based on "Gameboy," by Greek comedy/metal band Anorimoi. Here, Smith growls in a menacing tone. The plaintive "Happi Song" provides a welcome respite from the racket as Puolou sings lead in a simple voice that has been likened to Nico.
Early in The Fall's career, it was championed by late BBC DJ John Peel, who famously said "they are always different; they are always the same." That still holds true on Ersatz G.B, which is recommended for diehard fans.
For more information, go to: http://ersatzgb.yolasite.com/