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Imperial Wax Solvent

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 April 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • ASIN: B0015I2OX2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,366 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

BBC Review

Mark Smith is at another zenith of his game at the moment - with his autobiography (published by Penguin, no less), ubiquity in the media and the ongoing renaissance of his beloved outfit that begun with the release of 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong in 2004. Their three subsequent studio albums, Country On The Click, Fall Heads Roll and Reformation Post TLC have had a consistency that evokes the group's high period Beggars Banquet or Permanent years, while frequently bringing something completely new to the table.

So what does Imperial Wax Solvent, the group's 27th studio record, have to differentiate it from the rest of the Fall's canon? Well, it has their longest non-live album track yet on record, 50 Year Old Man, its standout, almost a culmination of Smith's life's work, with its banjo, krautrock and glam interludes and repeated refrain of ''I'm A 50 year old man, what are you going to do about it?'', it all makes perfect sense. After 12 minutes it finally disappears, after stream of consciousness shifts to ''inferior product men'' and an ''attempt to be scruffy on a train''.

Imperial Wax Solvent also has a lot of the things you love: Alton Towers sets up a characteristically moody entrance; Wolf Kidult Man has the album's biggest riff while Can Can Swimmer has the forward propulsion you'd expect from the group. I've Been Duped keeps the bright brief of Theme From Sparta F.C, with Mrs Smith, Eleni Polou's vocal adding an overall sweetness. Senior Twilight Stock Replacer has the chops - a grinding, almost funky occasional stage favourite, it calls to mind Gut Of The Quantifier from 1985's This Nation's Saving Grace.

Although there may not be quite as much melody as of late, here we have 10 Smith originals plus the group's second Groundhogs cover, Strangetown, and Eleni's largely instrumental interlude, Taurig. Imperial Wax Solvent makes for another compelling episode in that small but thriving outpost of the post-punk empire, Fallville. --Daryl Easlea

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.Read more ›
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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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 ¾ 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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Format: 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.
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