Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Day 112: You never told me Simon...

Welcome back to my blog, I could actually rename this blog as Ersatz Blog, its that occasional now. I keep meaning to update more often, honest.

Song: Taking Off
Album: Ersatz GB

Year: 2011

Still listening to Ersatz GB nearly every day, it's still amazing, I really don't get the negative reviews, The Fall constantly changes, if they made Hex Enduction Hour a million times, people would be bored beyond belief. Mark sounds ever more incomprehensible, but he has sounded this weird before and brought a more coherent style back (see most of his vocals circa Levitate for example, a drunken slur) this is no different from YFOC, except his vocals sound more clipped, distant and occasional.

The band are probably the best he's had in I'd say ten years, this song has a slurred, minimal beginning before roaring to life with that drum crack at the start. MES sounds focused and determined on this one, delivering the lines people are picking up on in reviews like 'Silent 6pm/Bonjela complexion' now I have no idea what that would consist of, but the juxtaposition of those two words have surely never been sung together before, it just sounds so brilliant. Equally, when he follows it up with a half thought-out 'Bonjela... Completion' it sounds profound. I suppose you could say MES has a bonjela complexion these days, his constant gurning and tongue wagging/mouth exploration gives him the look of someone preoccupied with a coldsore/gumboil, so maybe it's another autobiographical line.

No matter how many times I try to replicate it, I cannot match the way he delivers the line 'Buy Skips' (the weird melting crisps or the big metal bins?). He seems to make a one syllable word into two and a half, 'Buy Ski-P-sss' it must be something you can only do with the aid of dentures.

The line about presumably Simon Cowell 'You never told me Simon/About the forty carrot's scum/At weekends' now whether this is a bite at the X-Factor I don't know, but he mentions the teen drama Gossip Girl and attacks Snow Patrol elsewhere on the album, so maybe. Bit of a soft target, but it has maybe grown to such levels it is affecting our very own hip priest that he needs to moan about it. The title of the song, combined with the repetition of the word 'Ersatz' makes me think it is a slurred comment on how that show simply recycles old pop and tries not to be original. The word 'ersatz' was used by the British in POW camps in WW2 for the dubious coffee and food they were given that was of a low quality. Maybe the album is about how we may have lost our way, consumer culture and all that sixth form politics jazz.

I have to say there is hardly any repetition musically on this album, the songs feel more rounded and structured than ever, this one moves through several stages, Eleni's keyboards back up the music made by the tight garage style band he has in place, rather than stabbing notes here and there, it feels more organic, but still rough as hell.

This song also ends with some looped music that sounds arabian, but is apparently the band Dead Can Dance, who I know The Fall used to play with a bit back in the 80s. If anyone can tell me what song it is taken from I'd love to know, also any reccomendations of where to start with them would be good, as the stuff on youtube is fascinating.

I'll probably be doing some more off Ersatz soon, for those who haven't picked it up yet, do it, there's moments of pure Fall on there that need to be heard. The closing track is fast becoming one of my favourites.