THE FALL return with a new album this week via Cherry Red Records. Sub-Lingual Tablet is the 31st album from Mark E Smith’s Manchester iconoclasts and features their current line-up of Peter Greenway, Keiron Melling, Elena Poulou, Daren Garratt and David Spurr.
The band have lined up a short series of UK dates in support of the release…
May 23 The Boiler Shop Stephenson Works, Newcastle
May 27 Sub 89, Reading
May 29 Manchester Cathedral, Manchester
May 31 The Globe, Cardiff
Jun 05 Umberslade Estate, West Midlands
Jun 24 Glastonbury 2015, Somerset
Read Steve Hill’s review of the album below…
(Cherry Red Records)
The latest cryptic missive from the mind of Mark E Smith.
Studio album number 31 finds The Fall in unrelenting form, delivering arguably the most entertaining release yet from this current longstanding line-up. Opener ‘Venice With The Girls’ is a bona fide foot-tapper, with Smith reverting to his traditional singing voice as opposed to the feral growl that some feel has blighted their recent output. He drifts into various vocal styles throughout, however, including a virtual spoken-word affair in ‘Junger Cloth,’ providing the album’s first laugh-out-loud moment as Smith seemingly attempts to negotiate an archaic eye-test chart in his distinctive Salford burr.
Lyrically, as ever, Sub-Lingual Tablet is a riddle wrapped inside an enigma, but there are honourable mentions for Pierce Brosnan’s bed-wet pills, a campaign to kidnap Bono, and a long overdue return for the Curly-Wurly.
Very much this year’s ‘Blindness’ or ‘Reformation,’ central track ‘Auto Chip 2014-2016’ is a ten-minute cyclical rant in which Smith repeatedly poses the question “How bad are English musicians?” as his band of (mainly) English musicians play as if their lives depend upon it – which they possibly do.
Bang up to date, the album ends with a furious dual blast of anti-technology as MES berates his lack of a Facebook troll in the judiciously renamed ‘Fibre Book Troll,’ culminating in an unexpected outro of some delightful whistling (Peel would have approved). By now incandescent with rage, the self-explanatory ‘Quit iPhone’ brings proceedings to a close in style. Joyfully indecipherable, Sub-Lingual Tablet is another remarkable album from Britain’s most extraordinary band. Contains foul language.