Forty-two line ups in some twenty eight years--but with gurning, prose-churning champion of invective jabberwocky Mark E Smith remaining constant at the helm--heads have indeed rolled within the ranks of interloping non-conformists The Fall. There has been, however, no loss of the band's conceptual objectivity. Heads Will Roll
throws The Fall's idiot-savant oevre into sharper focus at a time when the band's profile--in the wake of the death of long term advocate John Peel--has never been higher. Cynics, therefore, may view the single release of a cover of Roy Woods' psych-pop classic "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" as commercial exploitation but Fall fans, as ever, will surely view any lofty chart placings as either entirely incidental or just another Mark E Smith double-bluff masterstroke. On the balance of probability The Fall fans are probably right; Smith's chatter of asbestos powered rifles, Bo Diddly, Heathrow airport, rubbish receptacles and Harold Shipman still marks The Fall out as rambling outsiders, although such is The Fall's extending influence that the band's organised garage-punk sound is now less of a shock than Smith's verbose spluttering. Brilliant but as cryptic as ever, Fall fans will chose their own favourite tracks. Will it be the rasping, solo JJ Burnel-style insistence of "Blindness", the nagging chant-along of "Pacifying Joint" or the punk police siren guitar of "Assume"? Or maybe the Gypsy Kings jam of "Early Days Of Channel Fuehrer"? Infuriatingly baffling. Who'd have it any other way? --Kevin Maidment
The Fall are set to embark on an extensive UK tour during October as they promote Fall Heads Roll
. The band, fronted by the incomparable Mark E. Smith, have enjoyed a career spanning almost 30 years and their new album finds them at their very best, with Smith sneering over tracks laden with garage rock guitar and pummelling rhythm sections. 14 tracks in total including "Ride Away", "Pacifying Joint", "What About Us", "Midnight Aspen", "Assume", "Midnight Aspen Reprise", "Blindness" and more.