"He decided to sublimate/He went to London." MES growls a Beefhearty growl all over the backing track for "Nate Will Not Return". It almost feels right; but it's too distended. The same delivery spits out "Mask Search" and the great gaps filled by the loping, prowling band recall the live gigs where he wanders about while the band labour out the tunes. "And I'm so sick of Snow Patrol/And where to find Esso lubricants/And mobile number," he almost literally barks. This gargly, deeper voice seems to be his voice now. The guy that sang "Bill Is Dead" and filled it with emotions - that's sad. "Greenway" has him quoting Dodgy's "Good Enough" with tonsils sliding to the floor.
"Happi Song" is very unFall, sounding like a Germanic version of The Pooh Sticks or Wendy or one of those Sarah records bands. I'm assuming it's his wife that's singing, but MES can be discerned in the background scratching and screaming like he's in the Phantom Zone with General Zod. "Monocard" is back in the familiar bus-stop of the harangue with guitars: eight minutes of carrier bag harangue.
"Age of Chang" closes things down with more cross-purpose music and a chant for a "time for change". "A dam of vast proportions will break/Over Hawksmoor", MES chuckles in a dark chocolate, suddenly aged voice. Percussion in the background. Those arcane old obsessions, the scary glimpses of the occult. All is as it was: but slower and with fewer words. I just miss the clarity. I miss the cold touch of the old anger.
Rating: Molten out of Recognition