VARIOUS ARTISTS – Falling A Spread (Falling A)

Following on from their last compilation CD ‘Crust’, Falling A present another taster of their wares. ‘Snowflakes’ by 18 Idle opens proceedings with a Durutti Column style instrumental, followed by The Cleaners From Venus with ‘Night Starvation’. Arguably the most under-rated band of the early 80’s, it is good that they are now getting some recognition, and this is a typically melodic offering from Martin Newell and the band. Census Of Hallucination are ‘Bringing Dole To Newcastle’ in an upbeat number featuring Stone Premonitions mainman Tim Jones, and Modern Art donate a track from one of their early cassette albums, before they metamorphosed into the classic modern psyche band that was Sun Dial. Although quite dated now with its jangly guitars it has a certain something that points to what was to follow. Spasmodic Caress are a new name to me, and musically sound very much like early 80’s indie bands such as Dance Chapter and Ski Patrol, but their ‘Long Distance’ is quite enjoyable, and is followed by a demo from the new album by Josda Dan. ‘Bill Poster’s Ads’ is quite different from the songs on his first EP, with the emphasis now on a bass-driven backing and less melody, but is still not bad. The Insane Picnic deliver an 80’s remix of a track from their last album, but still fail to impress me with their dis-jointed take on the ‘shambling’ bands of the C86 era. General Kustard offer up a 56 second instrumental, and George Hinchliffe tries to update Flanders and Swann on ‘I’m A Guru’, but doesn’t really pull it off that successfully. The highlight of ‘Crust’ – Peter Ashby – ends this sampler with ‘Joyful Day’, a fine instrumental on reverb guitar and drum machine that has echoes of Cleaners From Venus, once again making it one of the stand-out tracks of the album. All told, another good collection showing what Falling A has to offer.