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on 5 December 2003
I like the Fall and have done for 20 years but didn't buy any new stuff through the 90's and the first 1 to break the lull in the attack was this effort which I was pleased to find was better than the stuff they were making when I started to lose interest; I know more about their post-80's albums now and I think this is typical of their sound in the mid-90's - it is a different sound than the 80's but shows an integration and an adaptation which is delightful. I was pleasantly surprised with their original take on dance music; which has bite as well as beat. Smith isn't trying to run the show either and consequently he's a bit more sane and everything has more balance and a sense of purpose. The only weakness seems to be a loss of continuity around mid-way; but with a strong start and strong finish this album remains a worthy effort.
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on 29 March 2010
Agree with previous reviewer: the CD 'description' here is woefully misleading nonsense. Brix is all over this album, which also contains electronic elements. And no, this is not an ideal starting place for new Fall listeners, but it IS an underrated album. Encompassing lots of different styles, and probably about three songs too long, it has some fantastic bits, especially when Krautrock, country & western and garage pop seem to collide.

'Hostile' has Brix and MES vocals intertwining in a way that reminds this listener of 1983's 'Hotel Bloedel'. 'DIY Meat' is insanely energetic. 'Spinetrak' should have been a number one single. Lots and lots of highlights. Unfortunately, 'Secession Man' is one of The Fall's worst ever tracks and should have been left off. Never mind: at its best this album is very, very good indeed.
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on 30 November 2001
This is an example of prime Fall, and we may never see its like again. The album is largely fast and furious, and hints at artistic tension present during its creation. Yet it's full of great Fall moments, many strong songs, and it'll leave you exhilarated and laughing. The first 10 songs are all potential candidates for an all-time 'best of Fall' collection, and are packed with inventive riffs. In short, the Fall album of your dreams.
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on 24 July 2009
Ignore the 'description' above Brix Smith IS on this album, in fact, shes standing next to Mark.E.Smith on the cover. I'm also not sure why that would be unfortunate if she wasn't on this (Spinetrak could've been left off). So the writer is a chump on both counts.

This is a decent Fall album with unusually clean production. Cheetham Hill should have been a hit single.....and its hilarious. DIY Meat is another one with great, funny lyrics. And tracks like Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter Wain and He Pep are amazing intense tracks with bass riffs and synths respectively and MES shouting alot over the top. Overall the album has an electronic sound to it and Oleano and The Coliseum are practically dance tracks (but not quite). Its a challenging and entertaining listen as usual, well worth it.
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on 19 July 2015
Great gift
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on 8 February 2001
This 1996 release was the Fall's first without guitarist Craig Scanlon, and his absense is telling. After the breath of life that was 1995's "Cerebral Caustic" fearuring the long lost Brixie, the band gradually began to lose it. This album could have been the beginning of the end, were it not for MES's sheer determination to turn things around and bring in Scanlon's replacement in 1999.
As with every Fall release there is some compelling stuff on this, not least the country&western style "Stay Away Old White Train" and the hilarious "Secesion Man" which has MES resembling Vic Reeves club style singing. But unfortunatly the vast majority of the serious stuff on the album sounds rushed, unfinished or just lacking in musical kick. The opening track "DIY Meat" sums it up- a potential classic is ruined by Smith's lyrics lacking bite whilst the guitar riffs are simple and unimaginative. Stephen Hanley's bass ensures "Das Vulture" is something a bit more than MES trying to sing in German, and Chilinism (a song about Halifax Town FC!) is little more than standard pop fare compared to what the Fall are capable of. This was the last album Brixie featured in and her vocal contributions do little to help matters apart from on "Spinetrak" where MES himself sounds a little sharper than on the rest of the album. But as a momento of the final days of MES/Brix "Last Chance To Turn Around" a cover version, is wonderful. All in all, if you're new to the Fall don't bother and buy "Cerebral Caustic" instead. If you are into the Fall you'll already have this anyway.
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