Friday, 13 May 2011

Day 60: Enter at your peril.

Here's a great one, one I've picked myself (request blast this week people).

Song: Dead Beat Descendent
Album: B-side to Cab It Up!
Year: 1989

I presume this one was recorded around the time of Kurious Orange, because it's the B-side to the excellent Cab It Up! and there's a dancer in the video, utterly brilliant, both parties completely ignoring each other in a cramped studio. This is actually one of the best-produced, and played songs I've reviewed for a while, the drums are a particular standout, there's some real dynamics at work there and it's probably Wolstencroft's best performance for me, he's really going for it in the video.

Same goes for Mark, the lyrics are clear and he employs some actual timing that's with the band, the quiet/loud dynamics work incredibly well. Some may say this song sounds like a B-52s rip, it could quite easily descend into Rock Lobster given some more spindly keys, but it stays on the right side of cool for me. the snaking bassline and the nice and twangy guitar riffs that underpin this whole song give off that cool surfer vibe, yet another string to The Fall's genre-splicing bow.

The lyrics seem to be about being perceived as a loser, MES would not care if this was levelled at him, he often states it is of no importance what the audience, press or anyone else think, and this is probably backing it up. I also think his lines about not dancing particularly well and being avoided on a dancefloor for that reason could be a rallying cry for the unusual people of the world, saying they are almost 'out of step' but they don't care.

I actually love the way he sings 'enter at your peril' at the start of this, the way it's enunciated is amazing, the timing and pitch of every line in this song is perfect, I could well imagine this being a hit, but as usual, The Fall hide some of their best songs in the depths of B-sides, live albums and bootlegs, the only way is awkward.

One funny thing I will point out is the expression on MES's face when the music stops and the video freezes in and zooms in, great stuff.

1 comment:

  1. I've always felt this is on of The Fall's periodic 'dance' numbers, like the Twist, where the template is the song where instructions are given in the song how to do the dance (see also The Aphid):

    'This dance can be pure hell'

    'Take five dead beat steps to a stroll
    Act like you've just got out of jail'

    'Come back here! Come back here!'
    Turn left side and shout 'Come back here!'
    Then hot-tail it right out of there'

    'Make out your head is in a bell
    And you've got a man on your trail
    And you are descendant of the vicious criminal'

    It's great! A reconfiguring of the physical motions of fear, paranoia and flight into a dance!