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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imperial Fall Sound
Reformation Post TLC had its moments but in truth sounded a bit sludgy, MES a little distracted. However, the Fall's 2008 effort ranks higly in their cannon. Smith is beady eyed, routinely serving up great lines ('the sky is darkening with wings of chickens coming home to roost) and the band, the new band, play tight and tuneful garage rock. '50 Year Old Man' must be...
Published on 8 Jan 2009 by Mr. William R. Parkes

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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last one but that's not saying much
There are a few moments of brilliance here, and many reminders of past success: much of it has a similar sonic palette to Reformation Post-TLC but with added electronic interjections. While RPTLC started strongly but degenerated into inconsequential ditties and lengthy sound-experiments, at least this one stays solid to the end, the feeling of continuous energy aided by...
Published on 2 May 2008 by Crispy Phosphorous


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imperial Fall Sound, 8 Jan 2009
This review is from: Imperial Wax Solvent (Audio CD)
Reformation Post TLC had its moments but in truth sounded a bit sludgy, MES a little distracted. However, the Fall's 2008 effort ranks higly in their cannon. Smith is beady eyed, routinely serving up great lines ('the sky is darkening with wings of chickens coming home to roost) and the band, the new band, play tight and tuneful garage rock. '50 Year Old Man' must be the most powerful song since... One of best records I've heard.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Progression, 24 April 2008
By 
Anthony W. Rogers (WV USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Imperial Wax Solvent (Audio CD)
I have only had the opp to hear this a few times and so I feel a bit early to proclaim, but the news is good. The last release, RPTLC, sounded to me stronger upon initial listen than after repeated listens. There was not the expanding experience you get with most Fall album upon repeated listens..it was more groove bass oriented. You still have that basis here with Mr Dave Eagle Spurr, who may be now establishing a new Fall sound as opposed to the pick heavy style of Steve Hanley who was at the root. ..whatever that sound is or was. The music on IWS has so much more meat on the branches as opposed to TLC..The breadth of music scope is surprising and the editing is breathtaking especially on 50 Year Old Man (Banjo on a Fall album??)..but there is not one cut Ive sought out to skip over and MES is on top of his game..He seems to talk about chickens several times..there can be no doubt that the book writing appears to have brought out an album that is more focused and shaped by his prose than TLC where at times MES was like another garnishment on the plate..kinda like separate stuff on a plate. Here the flavors are mixed together, come in and out of each other through editing and even a few flits into mono in spots...it makes this the most sonically interesting Fall record maybe ever..kind of like MES really going further down the Krautrock road in attitude than ever. In this album, the mixing has been treated as another facet of creativity as opposed to just recording the tunes (which is how theyve generally operated in the past). Oh and Elena's vocal on Ive Been Duped is as good and catchy as Wright Stuff was weird. That is the other one thing I would mention.. Ms Smiths keyboard playing has really progressed and is the biggest surprise from the last album to now. She is now operating at the level that Julia Nagle and all the players (since Marcia S) have seemed to be aiming for. Elena is there right now and is a huge part of the current musical glory. This is certainly the best Fall album in 10 years, how it will rank against the legendary albums remains to be seen as it ages. This could end up as classic - as I said theres not a weak moment, let alone cut on this new offering.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm a 50 year old man (& I like it)", 18 Dec 2012
By 
Rooksby (United KIngdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Imperial Wax Solvent (Audio CD)
The Fall have released 3 exemplary LPs since the turn of the century - Your Future Our Clutter, Country on the Click, & this one.

Imperial Wax Solvent tails off slightly but towards the end, but the first is excellent - Mark is good spirits & on top form, & many of his lyrics are laugh-out-loud funny. The band sound muscular & well drilled, & the songs are full of surprising twists & quirks that suggest a little more time was spent piecing this album together than several other recent additions to The Fall's canon (the appalling Reformation! Post-TLC, for instance).

Personal highlights: the ominous spazz-jazz of "Alton Towers", the storming "Wolf Kidult Man" (if somebody had told me this was a This Nation's Saving Grace outtake I would've believed them), the insistent, Eleni-fronted "I've Been Duped", & the epic chip shop Krautrock of "50 Year Old Man". Even "Taurig", a near-instrumental minimal synth track penned by Eleni alone, sounds terrific. Oh, & there's a banjo cameo on it as well - I certainly wasn't expecting that!

A bona fide 9/10 album - & an essential purchase for Fall listeners old & new.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On first listen..., 29 April 2008
This review is from: Imperial Wax Solvent (Audio CD)
As a complete newcomer to The Fall I've been eagerly awaiting this as my first contemporary Fall purchase. It may be because I've been listening to nothing but The Fall for about two months now, but I have a qualm with this album...

Whether you're back in the glory days of The Fall (for me that means everything without exception up to - but excluding - This Nation's Saving Grace (I think the Brix era is vastly overrated)) or mooching around the glorious renaissance of The Unutterable, Extricate, Code:Selfish, Country on the Click etc, the one truism for me is that every Fall album is an immense grower. You may not like it on first listen, you might hate it on second listen, you might dread every track...but after a while you find that you can't live without it.

And that's my qualm. On first listen I love this album to bits. It worries me. Will it endure? Will it improve? Or will I get bored of it?

Alton Towers is a weak opener, but tracks like 50 Year Old Man (an awesome 11-minute anchor), Wolf Kidult Man, Can Can Summer, Strangetown, and Tommy Shooter strike me as instant bona fide Fall classics. Even Senior Twilight Stock Replacer, despite being a pale and anaemic version of the stormtrooping song they opened with at Hammersmith Palais, gets me in the head and the spine.

So, MES bounces back yet again with an instant classic. It's that word 'instant' that worries me though...
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE FALL - IMPERIAL WAX SOLVENT, 20 July 2009
The latest offering from the worlds finest band is Imperial Wax Solvent.Certainly a top ten entry into the falls album list, but of the modern era not as good as the real new fall lp and the unutterable, and from the early years not a match for the likes of live at the witch trials,dragnet and grotesque. However they bounce back well from the slightly dissapointing Reformation post tlc.Four tracks leap out as outstanding.Tommy shooter,Wolf kidult man,Latch key kid and my particular favourite Senior twighlight stock replacer.Fifty year old man is an 11 minute three part joy and Is this new is a punchy short little daytime telly ditty.The only real dissapointments for me are Ive been duped and opening track Alton towers.All in all another must have piece of work from the brilliant Mark E Smith.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last one but that's not saying much, 2 May 2008
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This review is from: Imperial Wax Solvent (Audio CD)
There are a few moments of brilliance here, and many reminders of past success: much of it has a similar sonic palette to Reformation Post-TLC but with added electronic interjections. While RPTLC started strongly but degenerated into inconsequential ditties and lengthy sound-experiments, at least this one stays solid to the end, the feeling of continuous energy aided by having the tracks tightly segued together. This time the 10-minute track doesn't feel like a bad joke at the listener's expense, but is a suite of distinct sections of music, with contrasting moods but also recurring themes. Lyrically MES is on pretty good form throughout - a mixture of bizarre stories, nonsensical slogans and personal pre-emptive strikes: "I'm a 50 year old man, what'cha gonna do about it?" He also speaks for many of us when he proclaims "My boss has the imagination of a gnat!"

Unfortunately the sound quality is definitely a step down from the usual standards. I realise The Fall are not the group to expect audiophile quality from, but someone has seriously buggered this one up - the majority of the album is in mono, and sounds like it's been ripped off a dirty or scratched CD-R (there are numerous glitches and drop-outs, especially on Strange Town), and converted to a low bit rate MP3 (there's a tell-tale squishiness to the top end). The mixing is OK, although the drums sometimes get squashed down in the mix due to the amount of compression being used - maybe it sounded good before it got accidentally converted to mono!

Contrary to what some of the other posters seem to think, The Fall have made quite a few duff albums over the years and can very wildly from one album to the next. Even the classic Hanley-Scanlon-Wolstencroft lineup were not immune to this: for every Shiftwork there's a Seminal:Live. Apart from the sound quality issues I'd say this was just on the good side of average: to put it in the context of more recent efforts, it's an improvement on Post-TLC but not as good as Fall Heads Roll.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the only band in the world, 13 July 2008
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Imperial Wax Solvent (Audio CD)
Stop whining, snivelling, prevaricating. If you you want SMOOTH, SEAMLESS, CLEAN, go and listen to Boston. This is art. This is provocation. Its messy. Its difficult. I saw a bunch of these songs played live last night in Donegal, and it was extraordinary. Nobody else is doing this. Celebrate!
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A predictable "Fall" album - surely not?, 28 April 2008
By 
Glasgow Dreamer (Glasgow Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Imperial Wax Solvent (Audio CD)
The thing about the Fall is that you should always expect the unexpected. Although there is a "Fall" sound, which is inevitable with a voice like MES's, almost all of the albums are noticeably different from each other, and benefit from that.

This one unfortunately can not make that claim. If you liked the last album "Reformation: Post TLC", you'll like this one, but not quite as much.

It sounds like the band has gone into the studio and tried to remake the Reformation album again; there's the heavy bass running through the whole album, Elena's lead cod-Europop vocal on one track, one very long track, a bit of country and western.... but none of it either written or performed as well as last time.

All in all, a disppointing album, which I have listened to three times now with less enthusiasm and enjoyment on my part with each listen. I sincerely hope Mark has not lost his muse and decided just to play safe - that would be such a waste.

Must do better, and we all know he can!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two hairy men digging up Scotland..., 22 May 2008
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This review is from: Imperial Wax Solvent (Audio CD)
I'd be madder than Mr Mad from Madtown if I was to stoop over my stereo with a dour expression on my face waiting for Mr Mark E Smith to say or do anything to make me grumble.

This is pure vintage Fall. That is the sum of it. If you like The Fall then you'll like this one, in the same way you liked the last one.

When I play my collection of Fall CDs I shall place this amongst my favourites, though.

What is it with Mark E Smith? Is he some kind of genius? To look at him you wouldn't say it.

His voice always seems to fit in with the music. It's uncanny.
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Imperial Wax Solvent by The Fall (Audio CD - 2008)
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