Review Summary: A return to form or another brick in the Fall wall?4 of 4 thought this review was well written
Sometimes bands can be their own worst enemies. Like the Shins, the band that don't release enough and as such all the music press turns against them, deeming them lazy and unappreciative of the support they have gained from such scant and far between releases. This works both ways though, for every band that tenderly nurtures it's discography from youth to it's inevitable conclusion, there will be a band who releases an album every year, and somewhere along the line, fans just stop bothering with new material, because they just simply can't keep up.
Is that the case with the Fall? Numerous has been said of the band who in the last 24 years have had at least 40 interchangeable members, with the one constant of Mark E. Smith. A band that has in these 24 years, released no less than 28 studio albums, and a handful of bootlegs, sessions and live albums.
How the hell could anyone keep up with that? Just ask any Fall fan and you'll find out that they haven't deserted them - yet. Being a fan of The Fall is like being a fan of a bad football team, you tend to know it's all going wrong but you just don't know any other way to go about your life without them.
So we come to Your Future, Our Clutter, the band's less than timid 28th release, in the year of 2010. And although past releases have been patchy and flagged at best, this album finds them in a disconcertingly consistent and confident mood, lo-fi production and hammering droney guitars compliment Smith's raspier and incoherent as ever vocals, with the magic of a ridiculous namedrop and lyric poking through every now and then, "The little bacon mongers".
The album is indeed surprisingly consistent, and more than anything else it sounds like a better produced and more well suited and rounded sound than anything since 1991's excellent Shift-Work. There is not much changed sound wise here though, while some electro synths and beats poke through on tracks like Mexico Wax Solvent, our original street poet shines on all tracks, like everything with the Fall the focus is squarely on Smith and he is on point and jagged as ever, love him or hate him.
The great thing about Your Future, Our Clutter is that it's an album that just feels a lot more well thought out and time consumed than anything since the early 90's, instead of Smith packing together some condescending drones and the odd 'hey-ah!', it has it's own sound and finds it well, fitting neatly among all other Fall releases, while managing to stand out from them for it's contemporary feel. While nobody could expect a return to classic mid-80's form, Smith does a good job at showing that he's not beat yet, despite being over fifty, and looking at least double that.