The Fall
The Wonderful And Frightening World Of The Fall


4.5
superb

Review

by butcherboy CONTRIBUTOR (120 Reviews)
June 16th, 2017 | 29 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: No bulbs in this flat..

Championed by the venerable John Peel, and sounding increasingly more bracing and refreshing as punk was starting to lose its bite; by 1984, The Fall were edging on a household name, provided the household in question was a drunken grot of verbal abuse and clutter.

Though by the time of release of The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall, Mark E. Smith had already cemented himself as an uncompromisingly immovable object, the album still feels like a fork-in-the-road moment for the band, and one that they navigated extremely well. Brix Start’s presence, oft knocked for stirring The Fall into forcibly commercial territories, is properly felt for the first time here. She’s credited as co-writer on half the songs, and The Wonderful and Frightening World being put out on indie stronghold Beggars Banquet sent far too many people into splitting their arbitrary allegiances.

Brix’ doing or not, it’s immediately audible that The Fall were letting some of post-punk’s new romantic aspects sneak into their work. The lilting synths that break up the otherwise-vicious “Slang King,” or the distortedly dulcet “CREEP,” as well as the closing beauty burst of “Disney’s Dream Debased,” which just may be the most perfect digest of what The Fall had come to stand for. They pull it off, managing to if not break new ground, then at least peel around its cusps, all the while retaining their corrosive streak.

And there’s only so much an artful Vermont girl with a Brit fetish can do with a ragged, oily old pigeon. The Wonderful and Frightening World is for the most part, still music for sadistic curmudgeons to hop to. The deliriously malignant “Elves” runs shuddering for five minutes, Smith growing more vitriolic as the song goes on. “Copped It,” resurrected from some of the band’s earliest days together, is a noisy little beast, all bouncy bass and ruptured guitars. And the unhinged bounce of “2x4” is the perfect convergence of Smith’s and Brix’ sensibilities, and their first great duet.

The Fall’s winning dash would go on for a few more years, though as the 80’s rolled over, their frenetic productivity was starting to tangle their laces, albums being cut down by slapdash writing and sloppy production. They were also drifting drastically out of fashion, as the 90’s signaled a shift towards a bigger, poppier sound. The Wonderful and Frightening World catches them at an indelible moment, a thrillingly nettled band, at the height of their powers, trying to smash themselves to pieces.



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user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2017


8672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Fall short review No2..

Digging: Mark Stewart And The Maffia - Learning To Cope With Cowardice

Chortles
June 16th 2017


21264 Comments


nice one man. i love their albums from this era but i've never heard this one, gotttta get on it

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2017


8672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cheers, Chorts.. this one is fucking lovely

pizzamachine
June 16th 2017


13863 Comments


Pos for summary

verdant
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2017


2255 Comments


i may as well just pos your reviews before reading them ahahaah
great write-up as per

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2017


8672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hahaha, cheers Land,. very kind of you..



also, for those interested, here's this loveliness - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5GhXFzzYgU

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2017


753 Comments


Another great review, looking forward to the rest of the series

Divaman
June 16th 2017


2767 Comments


Keep filling in those blank spots with reviews, my friend.

Digging: Nightmare Air - Fade Out

SandwichBubble
June 16th 2017


7250 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@butcherboy good review, good album, Fall is the greatest yadayadayada

I'll cut to the chase: review a bad Fall album next or I'll riot

Digging: ADULT. - This Behavior

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2017


8672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hahahhaha, I'm reviewing Infotainment Scan tomorrow (and giving a good rating!) Pick one and I'll do it after that, Sandwich (except Imperial Wax, because I like that one..)



also, Claire, Diva, thanks much!

SandwichBubble
June 16th 2017


7250 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Infotainment deserves a good review, so you get a pass

this time



Our taste in Fall vary too much for me to tell you which to review. I'd say Marshall Suite, but you have that at a red-hot 4.0 so that don't make much sense.



Compromise: Just do a review of Mark E. Smith as a person

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2017


8672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I give MES a red hot three as well.. though I have no problem tearing into levitate or light user syndrome or are you missing winner

SandwichBubble
June 16th 2017


7250 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Did you say you didn't particularly like Levitate?

Cause that'll work.



That'll work just fine.



(Also, Light User Syndrome is good how dare you)

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2017


8672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's high parts are amazing..



Let's celebrate our differences.. I'm making apple perogis, doyouwantsomewellyoucan'thaveany

SandwichBubble
June 16th 2017


7250 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

https://imgur.com/qsfiWBR



you're trying a fat man's patience, @butcherboy. I'll break our conventional understanding of technology for baked sweets

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2017


8672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hahahha, and I put just the perfect little dash of basil into the dough and everything..

SandwichBubble
June 16th 2017


7250 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The future of the "Official Sputnikmusic.com (Site Copyright 2005-2017) Cooking Discussion Podcast" is looking up.



That sounds killer by the way. I've been baking a lot recently, its very calming till the smoke detector goes off. Hope you enjoy those (:

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2017


8672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed on calming.. and a little kitchen discussion would be killer!

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 18th 2017


8672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bumping because I just found out No Bulbs is a theme song on a BBC panel show, which is all sorts of fucked up.. haha

SandwichBubble
September 18th 2017


7250 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very tempted to lower this to a 3.5



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