Feeling Numb/Numb At The Lodge
No nonsense straight ahead rocker about 'Post-festivities' withdrawals and Prozac with Stranglers-esque vocal, Clash-esque chords and a great hooky chorus with Brix at her pop singer best. There's not much to choose between the two versions here, with the Peel one probably just that little bit more 'edgy' (God, I hate that word).
Numb At The Lodge (Peel session, 1994)
Feeling Numb (Cerebral Caustic, 1995)
posted @ 13.10 PM, October 5, 2007
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
This is just mad. A lyrically faithful rendition of the old Wesley/Mendelssohn christmas chestnut accompanied by very pleasant guitar. So polite, it's scary. And then the manic 'Hark!' bit - Jesus that's loud and high. Help!
Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Peel session, 1994)
posted @ 13.00 PM, October 4, 2007
Jingle Bell Rock
Oh dear. We could pretend that this cover of a 1957 Bobby Helms atrocity never happened, but the power of the pun compels me. At least I think it's supposed to be a pun - that one about 'Rotting Hill' instead of Notting Hill. And is that 'beaver sprouts' he's singing?
Jingle Bell Rock (Peel session, 1994)
posted @ 11.50 AM, October 3, 2007
MES really loves The Monks and who can blame him? A truly nuts bunch. This cover is yet another inspired interpretation of the already warped original. The melody is forsaken for a series of weird chants - 'lil lil loo hoo', ''wah wah wow wow' and the like, along with various snippets of speech and the shouts of 'shut up, don't cry' to create a joyful noise.
Shut Up (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
Shut Up - The Monks (Black Monk Time, 1965)
posted @ 13.10 PM, October 2, 2007
If you're paying attention at the back, you'll know that this is the track from whence was extracted the b-side from 1993, Cab Driver. So, the music should be familiar. The bass line's really good in this one and amidst all the euro-bore/olympic bidding rants lurk some choice lyrical cuts, such as 'there's nothing worse than a half-educated grim red dwarf.' Discuss.
City Dweller (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
posted @ 11.15 AM, October 1, 2007
Great cover of an old Groundhogs track. Apparently The Groundhogs were the first band MES saw live. Having only just heard the overblown prog rock guitar on display in the first 30 seconds of the original, I can confidently assert that The Fall version is an immense improvement, featuring some entertaining grunts and impressive kazoo action. The basic drum and bass (as opposed to drum 'n' bass) drives the simplistic message home.
Junk Man (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
posted @ 13.50 PM, September 28, 2007
Symbol of Mordgan
A telephone conversation between Craig Scanlon and John Peel about a Manchester City v West Ham game with a surf guitar twanging in the background and some radio whirring and wheezing. Pop cultural historian Stranger, from the Fall forum reckons that twang is 'Yummy Yummy Yummy' by Ohio Express. He also points out that there's a couple of seconds of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music at the end too. That's entertainment.
Symbol of Mordgan (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
posted @ 13.20 PM, September 27, 2007
You're Not Up To Much
Brrm brrm, the motor starts and we're into another middling and harmless song with very basic guitar riff and MES half-heartedly burbling over it about nothing much in general and averageness in particular. I can't say the lyrics are particularly intriguing and 'She's Oedipus' makes no sense whatsoever. Ho hum.
You're Not Up To Much (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
posted @ 12.45 PM, September 26, 2007
Middle Class Revolt
An exercise in middling, with a kind of weedy Kraftwerk synth line and not much else going for it. A sleepy discourse through the middle classes' insatiable devouring of popular culture and the advertising world's classification system for Britain's class system - C2s, D1s etc. I like the half-assed pronunciation of the ambiguous 'Put it down' which sounds even more sarcy on the 'dance mix' versions.
Middle Class Revolt (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
Middle Class Revolt (The Drum Club Prozac Mix)
Middle Class Revolt (The Drum Club Orange In The Mouth Mix)
posted @ 14.30 PM, September 25, 2007
Surmount All Obstacles
Again another unremarkable Middle Class Revolt workthrough, although not without its charms, like the liquidy bass. There's nothing that particularly bites you here but I couldn't say it's bad either. Who the guilty Heinz is I don't know. The Rex Sargeant Mix is also OK and I must say I'm losing count at the number of references to Das Richard and Das Judy in Fall songs.
Surmount All Obstacles (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
Surmount All Obstacles (Rex Sargeant Mix, 1994)
posted @ 12.40 PM, September 14, 2007
The $500 Bottle Of Wine
GrindalongaFall. Sounds like a piss about, but a very successful one, as the beat doesn't give up and a respectable southern bluesy kind of vibe powers it along. Not much sense to be gleaned from the lyrics, but so what? The '$500 bottle of wine' tagline serves its rhythmical purpose and the schoolboysy 'They're all fat gits and they get on our tits' is delivered in a Beefheart/Zappae stylee. And I always smile at the closing, 'Get down the fucking liquor store boy.'
The $500 Bottle Of Wine (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
posted @ 13.20 PM, September 13, 2007
Bit of a limp outing this one. The reverb a go go and swish production attempt to mask the lacklustre vocals, the whole conveying the impression of a half thought out idea. The Peel version especially seems sluggish and tired. 'Your friends are dis-compos-mentis' is one stand out line, though, along with 'you're sleeping with some hippie half-wit/Who thinks he's Mr. Mark Smith.' Oh, and the rather intriguing, 'it's evil that you spark off/In disguise as basic truth.'
The Reckoning (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
The Reckoning (Peel session, 1994)
posted @ 13.45 PM, September 12, 2007
A complete reworking of Hey! Fascist (see 1977), I cannae get enough of this song. The sheer simplicity of it knocks me dead every time. A real belter. The rhythym, music and lyrics all gel perfectly. There's added extras too, including the sarcy intonation of 'Evening News' mirroring a street vendor's weary cry and the brilliant 'woka-to-ma' and 'wah wah wah' bits echoing the frenzied drumming. The Peel version also includes the hilarious line, 'as you masturbate with your Shaun Ryder face.'
Hey! Student (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
Hey! Student (Peel session, 1994)
posted @ 14.35 PM, September 11, 2007
As well as an obtuse homage to Paul Simon's '50 Ways To Leave Your Lover' this is also a snide swipe at those snippets of advice screaming from the front covers of Women's Mags. More helpful advice is also proffered in the song itself, e.g. 'Get a flat and a magazine' and the superb 'Branch out into complete disorder.' My favourite absurdist comment on tacky tat though, is 'Break! Now! Fly direct! Post Office box!' If you haven't listened to this for a while, as I hadn't, I urge you to go back and hear it again - the subtle keyboards are absolutely brilliant.
Video: 15 Ways
15 Ways (single, 1994)
15 Ways (Middle Class Revolt, 1994)
posted @ 11.45 AM, September 10, 2007