The Fall, The Unutterable

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 07.11.12 in Reviews

The circa-2000 lineup of the Fall was a mighty beast, and their final document was largely made up of songs they’d been road-testing for a while (“Ketamine Sun” had mutated from the band’s live cover of Lou Reed’s “Kill Your Sons”). For its first 35 minutes, it punches as hard as anything they’ve done — “Cyber Insekt” is the rockabilly/techno/Lovecraft hybrid they’d been stretching toward for years, and “Dr. Buck’s Letter” is a brilliant, barbed trip-hop piece in which Mark E. Smith works out new and sinister uses for his voice (and takes a sideways swipe at BBC DJ Pete Tong). The album loses its way a bit toward the end, with a handful of half-baked experiments and “Das Katerer”‘s recycling of the eight-year-old “Free Range,” but it’s still a treat to hear Smith finding new ways to abuse new technology.