Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Day 36: A Moody Blues cassette on the dashboard!

I haven't done anything off this wonderful album yet, shame as I really love the rushed nature producing some of the oddest arrangements The Fall ever recorded.

Song: Room To Live
Album: Room To Live (Undilutable Slang Truth)


Okay, so this album was recorded as a quick follow-up to Hex Enduction Hour, Smith forcing the group to record more songs than they intended, they originally entered the Cargo Studios in Rochdale to record a single. In a Beefheart-esque way, some members were excluded from certain recordings, resulting in some of the songs sounding a bit unfocused, but it all jitters along with a cursory air that is fantastic. Smith claims some of the tracks are simply him and Karl Burns double-tracked, which I can believe, the album also features a member of the Fall famous for just playing 16 seconds of guitar on "Hard Life In Country". Arthur Kadmon was dismissed straight after, bonkers, but more on that when I blog that song.

So the music here bounces along just nicely, its a bit more restrained than Hex Enduction Hour (recorded previously the same year) but still rings with invention and a little hint of madness. This features saxophone, which farts along nicely with an unmistakable Mark Riley riff (he left following the tour of New Zealand and Australia about five months later) and the drums keep a usual, metronomic beat throughout.

The lyrics jump out on this one, some general observational parlance from MES here, as ever, references to cultural happenings feature, the stand-out being a "DHSS Volvo estate/Right outside my door/With a Moody Blues cassette on the dashboard" I know the type of car, you see them still, nearly 20 years later, just filled with tat, I almost want to own one, they are almost anti-car, they become great big slabs of previous owners' histories with cig ends, dog smells and god knows what kept in the boot, most of them still have cassette/radios too. I'm not sure if MES like the Moody Blues at all, I think they're pretty good in an inoffensive way, not bad at all.

Elsewhere he talks of chasing women, which he claims "makes meat out of the soul" we could possibly double-reference that with Slates, Slags, etc as I covered a few days ago. The idea of the title Room To Live could mean several things, he keeps saying "I just want a room to live" but does he mean a literal room or room generally? The list-like nature of the lyrics suggests the latter, maybe feeling hemmed in, surrounded by people, but as he says in a line later on "there's no hate to the point I give" which suggests that while he may be uncomfortable with his situation, a claustrophobic existence perhaps, he is happy to let it carry on.

One last thing, I'd love to know what "a reporter with no wig" is a reference too, the mind boggles.

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