Folklore’s new one and their brilliant record The Ghost of H.W. Beavermann might be two sides of the same coin. If so, Carpenter’s Falls suggests the coin fell through a hole in Ian Curtis’s pocket and landed in some mud.
H.W. Beavermann isn’t yet the huge success that it deserves to be. A more pressing problem for Jimmy Hughes might be how to record with an assembly who isn’t going to be available to tour with your band. For now the issue is sidestepped as Folklore veer slightly off from NMH Americana in the direction of Manchester, 1979 as the reduced cast of vocalists for Carpenter’s Falls creates a more compressed and less euphoric atmosphere.
The album begins with didgeridoo and sitar interplay which thankfully doesn’t last long. Both “The Corrections” and “Lake Bonaparte” strongly recall the earlier record. “Bingo Beats”, though, launches Folklore into another realm. It’s as if the icy voice of Curtis and the rhythm of Joy Division are haunting every step. “Across the Sesquehanna” is even chillier. By contrast, “Two Cousins Camp Store” is muffled, clunking, alt-country. It’s as if we are hearing a track that was recorded in a cardboard box, packed into a tube of toothpaste, sent into space and then squeezed out for broadcast by an astronaut orbiting in some fragile tin can.
“Blue House” is slow, refreshingly straight forward, with low bass notes, gentle floppy horns, meandering vocals and sense of desperate rapture. “The End” reinforces the undercurrent of doom. Carpenter’s Falls is a less immediate record than it’s predecessor but still a convincing take on angst, decay, significance, entropy, and perspective.