Mark Luffman, Review, Sinister Waltz
MELODY MAKER, February 10, 1996, p. 36
"ARE YOU STILL DOING WHAT YOU WERE DOING TWO YEARS AGO? YEAH? WELL DON'T MAKE A CAREER OUT OF IT. "
"Sinister Waltz" is a compilation of odds'n'sods from the "Extricate"/ "Shiftwork" period, the period where I finally stopped listening to The Mighty Fall. Of "Shiftwork" I remember nothing, save disappointment. Of whatever has emerged in the five years since I know nothing at all. There's little here to make me want to kick myself. Tracks like "A Lot Of Wind" and "Telephone Thing" sound as lightweight as ever they did, Smith's mercurial ire past its peak and turned to pique and The Fall chugging along like folk-era Mekons. Of the unfamiliar tracks, "Pumpkin Head Escapes" could be Stereolab if it wasn't for the Paul Young bass, and the rest are staggeringly OK. Except "Birthday ,which is the worst record The Fail will ever make. Live versions of older material make the rest sound even worse. There's a contemptuously ragged "Gut Of The Quantifier". There's a definitely garage "Dr Faustus". And there's "Wings"... One of the best Fall songs -- one of the best songs -- ever written, truncated, but worth 15 quid of anyone-who-hasn't-got-it-already's money. If you're one of them, "Wings" is a time-travel, murder-mystery, acid flashback/forward/sideways blistered, paint-bomb assault on the senses that riffs like Keef and raps like Edgar Allan Poe. Still, for 1 5 quid you could probably get a copy of the original double single, thus getting "Kicker Conspiracy", the greatest record about football ever mode, at the some time. See how I've got your wallets at heart.
If you really need to learn about The Fall by compilation, track down "in Palace Of Swords Reversed". If you don't, dig me when I say ". .. that clan has got away with 21 years of sheer brilliance... until now.