Thursday, 7 April 2011

Day 23: Late, but there's a new face in hell.

Apologies to anyone religiously following this blog (if such a person exists) I was too busy to publish yesterday, however, I'm doing two songs today, therefore stretching my skills that tiny bit further, enjoy.

So here's an astonishing performance from MES, frankly a machine-gun like vocal delivery with some incredible lyrics, which read more like a film noir gone mad.

Song: New Face In Hell
Album: Grotesque (After The Gramme)

Year: 1980

So this album is another important chapter in the history of The Fall, features some of their most angry and intense work ever, including this one and Container Drivers (one of their best early songs in my opinion), the reissue actually contains two Fall classics as well, How I Wrote Elastic Man and Totally Wired, why they don't appear on the album in the first place I have no idea, but such was the nature of releasing singles and LPs back then I suppose.

Back to this particular song, it's interesting that the cover of Grotesque has some hellish artwork on the front, it's what comes to mind every time I hear this song, but the lyrics as mentioned before, have a real film-like quality to them, all double crossing and rich description, although it is all delivered in such a rapid manner, you may have trouble following it, some choice lines include: "Wireless enthusiast intercepts government secret radio band and/Uncovers secrets and scandals of deceitful type proportions" now this sets the scene, a ham radio enthusiast (following MES's obsession with British eccentricities) stumbles upon something dark, you can almost imagine an overweight, balding man in a dark room, gasping as he hears some clandestine mutterings that he shouldn't have, the song continues this man's story in its brief, but concise and accurate diatribes.

Looking at the IMDB for the film that inspired the song (P.J at the plot seems similar, jealousy, double-crossing and death, though the recommendations made are a bit dubious, Spiderman 3 and Eraser (starring Arnie?) I think something's gone amiss there.

Two things which stand out in this song are MES's vocals, not only his rattling-off of intricate verse (I'd like to hear him attempt something similar now), but the refrain of "A New Face In Hell" which he intones so fervently, he breaks his voice and it gives it a horrible, menacing quality, almost demonic, you don't hear this side of his voice much, but when you do, it's great. He uses it quite a lot on Hex Enduction Hour to great effect. The other thing worth mentioning is the use of kazoo (by Smith himself) which manages not to sound ridiculous (as kazoos generally are).

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