Saturday, 26 March 2011

Day Twelve: Eat each other!

I've already failed if anyone's taking any notice, a song a day, I missed yesterday, it just slipped my mind, but I'll carry on as if nothing has happened.

Today's song is possibly my favourite Fall track ever, as legend has it, John Peel apparently 'fainted' when he first heard this one, and I can see why. Utterly unique and my idea of art, just totally abstract, both in terms of lyrics, but also the unhinged music behind it. I think it almost reaches levels The Cardiacs hit, not as frenetic of course, but the nightmarish quality of the incessant bass line and crazy backing vocals contribute to this idea.

Song: Eat Y'self Fitter
Album: Perverted By Language

Year: 1983

So the lyrics, blimey, where to start? Well there's the pre-Atkins diet refrain of the title, an idea as absurd as it is in practice (eating meat, meat and meat, with a side order of meat to lose weight) but then there's the whole computer/furniture trade/club admission parts to contend with. This song is still a mystery after protracted listens, I'll try and cover as much as I can but gawd it's a work of genius.

The opening lyrics are just amazing: "I'm in the furniture trade/Got a new job today/Stick the cretin on the number three lathe" what? Okay, how many people would think to open a song with something like that? Bold, inventive and highly visual, and considering MES only ever had one job (in an office, very briefly) in his entire life bar The Fall, quite insightful.

The bits that stand out for me are lines like: "Analytics have got/My type worked out /Analytics on me/The poison render" this is brilliant, almost film noir-esque paranoia, you can imagine MES walking down corridors and back allies just looking over his shoulder in black and white, this is the poetry of collected culture, MES is simply the mouthpiece here.

Home computing gets a dressing-down here, which for the time, was pretty new (1983!), MES claiming he has seen the Holy Ghost on the screen, in a similar way, he rants about video recorders and rentals of said tapes, asking how do you choose what to record from everything you miss, you must be missing something good, he muses.

Some fantastic descriptive instances I must mention here, talk of 'wretched timesheeters' and 'secret straight-back ogres' is coupled with the final refrains of 'the centimetre square/Said it purged fear' which are also delivered with some interesting sounds from what I presume is Brix and Mark's rolling Rs.

This attempt at describing the song is about as scattershot as the piece itself, so I'd recommend listening back and piecing together your own ideas, this song has given me about a million over the years and I'm sure will continue to do so.

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