Room To Live (1982)

Room To Live (1982)

Was it the relative success of Hex Enduction Hour (it was the first Fall album to sneak into the U.K. Albums Chart)that inspired MES to rush his band back into the studio in the summer of ’82 to knock out another album before they left for a tour of Australia and New Zealand? Or was he just so thrilled by the results of that previous LP that he couldn’t wait to see what he could come up with next? I say “he” because, according to some accounts, much of this LP was recorded by MES with only a couple of members of the group, leaving the rest out. Whatever it was, this was hardly the follow-up that fans would have liked. The players are gamely keeping up with material that they barely know, and the attempts at experimentalism (the squawking sax that cuts through the title track, the meandering sound collage of “Papal Visit”) fall flat. Were it not for the seamy bass-and-scratching guitar minimalism of “Detective Instinct” and the jaunty “Solicitor in Studio,” this would be a complete throwaway.

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