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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Fall album!
A bit late but here's my thoughts / review.
01 Cosmos
This sets the scene - strident, punky, direct.
It's not the most complex song, as some have suggested, but this doesn't matter, it's like a mission statement, an introduction for what's to come - and, like much of the album, fun!
02 Taking Off
This conjures memories of late 70's new wave...
Published on 1 Feb 2012 by Stranger

versus
14 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Monochord
In the interests of a balanced review, let's have some insights from the Fall's fan forum...

ethant: The best since The Unutterable, I can't stop listening to it. I haven't been able to say that since The Unutterable. Could end up being in my top 5 Fall albums.

Audrey Wetherspoon: I keep going back to it hoping to hear what you're all hearing. But...
Published on 14 Nov 2011 by Dave Gilmour's cat


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Fall album!, 1 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ersatz G.B. (Audio CD)
A bit late but here's my thoughts / review.
01 Cosmos
This sets the scene - strident, punky, direct.
It's not the most complex song, as some have suggested, but this doesn't matter, it's like a mission statement, an introduction for what's to come - and, like much of the album, fun!
02 Taking Off
This conjures memories of late 70's new wave (Television, Blondie), paranoid cityscapes, and features some beautiful keyboard textures. Marvellous sound to this one - one of the biggest achievements of this album for me is the impressive production. This track just builds and builds, wonderful.
03 Nate
Another great production! How can anyone complain about this song when it *sounds* this good. Doubters! Don't listen to this on your pc speakers or a crappy portable (surely the only reason anyone could be not 'getting' this album) - try a decent set of headphones or hi-fi! Still don't get it? The mind boggles...
Nate features blistering, squawking guitar, which along with the pummelling drumming and quieter but solid bass propels the song, as MES rasps, gargles and intones his rhyme.
04 Mask Search
The Fall back in rockabilly mode, had to come sooner or later. MES' voice is close mic'd here...At face value this seems less demanding, but like much of the album, relax and let it in, and it's fun like more of this album, and keeps thing rolling and the pace fast. Enjoy.
05 Greenway
The fun quotient is upped more with this demented classic!
After the introductory it's 'good enough for...' gargles, MES' spoken style here reminds of a John Cleese rant, and it's just hysterical (more for the way it's said, than what's said)! Topped off by his ridiculous telling-off-a-naughty-schoolboy catcalling "Green-way!" The 'w*nk off...' reference was clearly thrown in (apparently a commonplace saying somewhere or other) as it just works, it's a ridiculous song, so don't expect it to make sense, just enjoy...
06 Happi Song
From the ridiculous to the sublime. Like All Tomorrow's Parties mixed with electro pop. This song and Greenway are my favourites, and they are like chalk and cheese.
07 Monocard
For some perhaps, myself included, an acquired taste. However once this grinding guitar rock track breaks into widescreen stereo, it's very absorbing.
08 Laptop Dog
Like much of this album, this is catchy and fun. It somehow reminds me of REM songs(!) - less for the vocals or sound, more the structure/composition.
09 I've Seen Them Come
Great riff! This is one of the tracks that was a 'late grower' for me. The Wings comparisons are interesting...I've never been a huge fan of Wings, that song is too discordant for me (heresy, I know)...I actually liked the earlier version of Wings, performed live 'in '82 - and curiously the chords here remind me of that early version than the more familiar one people seem to be comparing it to.
Once more, not a particularly complicated composition, but the production and performance are what matters, seems a good idea as a penultimate track - as it's both dramatic and fun. Good to have those low creepy backing vocals again too!
10 Age of Chang
This didn't overwhelm me at first, but on listening to it a bit louder now, again I'm impressed by the production techniques and performance. It's a bit lo-fi when it comes to MES' vocal, but that's deliberate and for effect, and seems to work. I must keep listening to this one a bit louder!
It's a shame this album has attracted such a wide range of opinions as the songs' relatively simple structures might mask the density of the production (ie so people might be quick to think those who dismiss the album are 'spot on'). The arrangements are very well executed. The sound may be deceptively thin in places for some: there are 'heavier' sounding Fall LPs, but there's a lot a going on here. A lot of textures, synth whines, low droning back vocals (both on Greenway and Happi Song, and adding to the humour element of the former).
I feel this album is more likely to be a grower for many if they give it a chance, just as even a track like Monocard is for me.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am not Nate, I rate..., 15 Nov 2011
This review is from: Ersatz G.B. (Audio CD)
This is a very good record. It's playful, bright, fun and hilarious in places. The production seems so different from everything else they have recorded. Very different from Y.F.O.C. I have been enjoying the live version of 'Greenway' for a while and was keen to see how it translated on record. I have to say at first I wasn't too sure, but after a few listens I got it! Its absurdly funny! I heard some reviews saying M.E.S sounds really angry on it but he's just having a laugh, a stand out track. 'Taking Off' is a great pop song, great grooves. To be honest there isn't a duff track here. 'Happi song' will divide fans in much the same way 'C.R.E.E.P' does but it's still worthy of it's place on the album. The band has really developed, Peter Greenway's playing is simply superb, he lets rip a bit more on this record. Spurr the eagle adds so much depth to the songs and Melling is just fanatastic. Eleni's Keyboards are essential to the mix, she obviously is using loads of analogue layers which brings a nice warmth to the songs. M.E.S seems to be employing a few different vocal techniques as well, in fact its that which brings the album to life. In short, its brilliant.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected..., 21 Nov 2011
By 
Karl Savage (Barnsley, South Yorks, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ersatz G.B. (Audio CD)
...And so we come to album #29 by The Fall, in the words of Stewart Lee "Still Britain's most vital band." And, as ever, it's a case of 'expect the unexpected'. After the clean-cut production of 2010's 'Your Future Our Clutter', Ersatz GB finds MES & his henchmen in the most abrasive territory I've heard since 'Fall Heads Roll's 'Blindness' - though it has to be said nothing on here comes remotely close to the majesty of that particular track.

As other reviewers have mentioned, this really does border on metal in places, difficult to beleve though that is. And if you think Mark has sounded like a tramp ranting in the park on previous recordings then brace yourself for these surreal cement-mixer diatribes. Who else but the bard of Salford could come out with lines like "I'm sick of Snow Patrol...and where to find Esso lubricant"? The one let-up in proceedings is the slightly plodding Eleni-vocalled 'Happi Song', which didn't do a lot for me, I have to say.

All in all, it just goes to show that you never can predict The Fall and that's what makes them such an exciting and important group. How many curmudgeonly 54-year old blokes are knocking out stuff like this? If you're a proper Fall fan, there are no 'bad' LPs - merely less brilliant ones. This definitely belongs, for my money, in the latter category but, hey, it's The Fall. Four stars.
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14 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Monochord, 14 Nov 2011
By 
Dave Gilmour's cat (on Dave Gilmour's boat) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ersatz G.B. (Audio CD)
In the interests of a balanced review, let's have some insights from the Fall's fan forum...

ethant: The best since The Unutterable, I can't stop listening to it. I haven't been able to say that since The Unutterable. Could end up being in my top 5 Fall albums.

Audrey Wetherspoon: I keep going back to it hoping to hear what you're all hearing. But every time I do I feel underwhelmed afresh... it feels underwritten, one-dimensional, slightly too self-referencing. But worst of all, a bit generic. These songs could have come off any album made since FHR, I reckon. And that's without mentioning the gargle.

Kapitän: It took 4-5 listens though, at first I was slightly disappointed. The music is still a bit one dimensional, on the surface a little too much towards a balls to the wall 'hard rock' sound - but the playing is by far the best and most energetic from this group. Pete's really come out of his shell, and Kieron (allthough always a great basher) really drives the songs forward with some finesse and timing this time. So many times where I just go "yes" when he whips up the intensity at the right place. Where YFOC was pretty shiny, and hit the spot right away, this one is murkier and requires some deciphering. But it's very well produced, not cack-handed like much of IWS, and still with a lot of grit and bite. I think the record showcases everything what's good about this version of The Fall, probably this is as good as it gets? The weaknesses are still there, but at this point I feel the album's got such a rush of energy they're pretty well hidden...

Cod Shellfish: Am finding it very amenable to repeated listening. One thing about it is that it ebbs and flows so well as an album.

Audrey Wetherspoon: I listened to it again this morning. It struck me that there isn't a single song with any melody in Mark's vocals.

Bug Kurious: I'm really starting to think EGB is one of the most playful and loose Fall albums ever. As has been said, it's sort of underwritten but there's so much humour on here. Nate and Greenway are both funny lyrics but most of Mask Search is hilarious, the tarzan scream then the gurgles/mutterings by MES near the end, the zombie backing on Greenway, the place names on I've Seen Them Come. There seems to be more emphasis on the vocal delivery, the sounds MES makes rather than what he's saying in many instances. It feels kind of lighter than most Fall albums. Which is odd coz most reviews seem to comment on how "heavy" it is. I think it's great, I really do.

JonN: Not keen. Very much a 7/10 album. I can imagine the last 2 tracks being good value live, but this is overall nowhere near as good as YFOC. I wouldn't even say it was as good as Reformation Post TLC.

Cryptomoralist: i cannot understand people saying this is the worst fall album ever.
i spent yesterday listening to - shift-work, middle class revolt, code selfish, cerebral caustic and levitate.
could not wait to get ersatz back on this morning....

Audrey Wetherspoon: a set of cloddish, boring, underwritten songs that fans are so conflicted about they're reduced to saying are 'fun', like a titchy Mars Bar or a quiz where you don't win any money
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's the Fall after all, 7 Jan 2012
By 
Mw Puleston - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ersatz G.B. (Audio CD)
Don't see much point in giving an in depth analysis of this album.It's the usual formula-erratic sleeve notes,Mark E Smith sounding even more eccentric and "out there" than before,another great band around the man himself and this collection of songs take at least a couple of listenings to get a sense of perspective.The same but different as always-indeed its a good album if you like The Fall,standout tracks ,Greenway,Nate will not return and Monocard.Happi song is iritating.Enjoy!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars mixed feelings, 16 Jan 2012
This review is from: Ersatz G.B. (Audio CD)
I dunno really what to make of this album, have been a fan of the mighty Fall for over 20 years, Great to hear Smiffy (after the slurry albums of past), and love the growling, but alas that bass sound... mixing etc of album, drum sound and overall sound just lacks any sort of definition, don't get me wrong it's a good album, Being a vinyl nut I would normally go out and buy the LP, but what's the point, has nothing on it that would shine through on vinyl, so for the first time in over 20 years I have not bought it on vinyl, I've got 3 mint copies of Dragnet, still my all time favourite from them, but I can't help feeling this is a "turning point" sorta album from them' I'm sure it's just the bass sound, dunno I'll have to listen to it a bit more, but it doesnt shout out to me going... play me I'm bril, suppose for me that driving bass sound was as much the Fall sound as Marks Vocs...
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solide, 18 Dec 2011
This review is from: Ersatz G.B. (Audio CD)
Musicalement, cet album est solide. Cette fois-ci c'est le guitariste Greenway qui sort du lot comparativement aux précédents albums marqués par le jeu du bassiste. Quant à Mark E. Smith, il est plus hargneux que jamais ! La chanson Mask Search deviendra un classique du groupe. Bonne écoute.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SALFORD SATCHMO SIGNING, 5 Feb 2012
By 
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This review is from: Ersatz G.B. (Audio CD)
Any review of new Fall product has little hope of attracting converts...the product stream being whiskered enough to prompt a confirmation of chronological numbering on the latest instalment.Subscribers will likely be long term fifty-something males with experience of further education and beer...pro market analysts will have the exact stats.We have come to expect a new Fall album a year,in a Pavlovian regularity comparable to the "Now That's What I Call a double CD of tracks that dropped off the charts seven weeks ago".I'm savouring this one three months late,and it helps traverse this current gloomy cold snap.A new Fall CD always helps seasoned Fall subscribers rise above the endless smug myopia of economic and cultural rigor-mortis,if only for a little while.Just to hear another slew of declaimed doggerel above the desperate salmon-leap stylings of the current ephemeral "band" is an uplift.That uniquely English voice,imbued with provincial vocational defiance,syllables appended as if by an Italian waiter's night school progression...over the years flattened,as has the owner's reptilian meerkat visage been towards a juncture where even the deep creviced wrinkles have attitude.In the present 10 songs/46 minutes we find occasional Louis Armstrong growling and a new syllable sculpting experiment involving front teeth hydraulics a la Steptoe senior.Just how these vocalising variants might be applied to the compositional bedding of the next band in through the revolving door is one that evokes more interest among some of us than the Olympics will provide.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange-ness, 15 Nov 2011
This review is from: Ersatz G.B. (Audio CD)
A pretty strange record, but one with a consistent seam of sound. YFOC was rather over-produced for me (a bit too Franz Ferdinand); EGB is perfect - no evidence of a 'chain round the neck'. 'Take Off' is great; 'Nate' is pleasingly absurd; other highlights include 'Laptop Dog' and 'Age of Chang'. Overall I feel, in terms of their recent output, it's middling - ahead of Reformation and YFOC, behind 'Imperial Wax Solvent' and 'Fall Heads Roll'.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love the Fall, 8 Dec 2011
By 
Mr. I. E. Clowsley "oldgoldwolf" (Staffordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ersatz G.B. (Audio CD)
Anticipated for months and now savouring the latest excellent Fall album Erstz G.B. It is a cliche now the late great John Peel's quote about the Fall,' Always different always the same', but it is very apt. That's why I love the Fall there are always at least a couple of killer tracks and Erstz G.B is no let down. I will enjoy listeneing to this for a very long time to come. Enjoy !!
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