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Clean George IV
God Save The Clean Jeremy Allen , January 24th, 2012 10:08

Having been labelled a 'maverick' on my college report by my Theatre Studies teacher, I know the devastating consequences it can have on a person's ego. Suddenly I was given carte blanche to not turn up to lessons, instead electing to hang around the common room on magic mushrooms dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. It is with this knowledge that I reluctantly bestow the title on George McFall.

Having caused a bit of a stir back in 2007 with debut single 'First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment Of Women' disappeared to hone his craft for four long years. Thankfully, time away, thirstiness and perfectionism seem to have cooked up good results. For those who hadn't forgotten entirely who he was, Clean George IV's long-awaited God Save The Clean is a sating experience, full of caustic puns and clever musical motifs. With great artists come great conflicts, and George is trapped in a world where musical ingenuity fights with a desire to keep it real, and you sense there's a class struggle going on internally between the earthy Celt and the lofty ideas of the airy-fairy composers, though that may just be projection. You also get a record that is as in thrall to your more prosaic Fall line-up as it is to the ostentatious ELO long-player.

"Real men rarely find the need to succeed," sings George on 'Real Men Take Speed', "And for the main part I like them better". It's an admission that smacks of stupors and inertia, The Racing Post, and whiling away afternoons in pubs playing pool with men you'd not readily associate with if it wasn't for the love of drugs and hard liquor.

Lyrically the album is lean and sinewy and fighting fit, a positive from that perfectionism we spoke of. 'London/Scotland' – a tribute to that internal conflict again – is strewn with magnificent lyrics, like "I'm off to find a woman with wit and mystery / Mystery and wit, keys to the factory." On the hooky Elvis-referencing 'Fat = Dead' he sings "And since my baby left me / I have gained a finer posture," complimenting the "return to slender" line drenched in Massive Attack style ambient keys. It's wry enough not to lose its impact with repeated plays. Taken out of context the lines don't fizz like they do within the work, but be assured this is a record of plentiful deadpan wit.

As to the future, George claims to have two projects in the offing. When these will see the light of day remains to be seen, but a true original like Clean George IV is to be wholly encouraged to produce more. Just don't call him a maverick.

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