The Fall, Cerebral Caustic

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 07.11.12 in Reviews

Cerebral Caustic

The Fall

The Fall’s new guitarist in 1995 was the last person most of their fans would have expected: Brix Smith, who’d left the band and divorced Mark E. Smith in 1989, and seemed to have been the subject of some rather venomous songs on Extricate. But she fit right in: Cerebral Caustic was the poppiest thing they’d done since Brix’s initial tenure in the group (she sings the very simple, very catchy choruses of both “Don’t Call Me Darling” and “Feeling Numb”), and maybe the most playful record in their catalogue. “The Joke” was the Fall’s standard concert opener for years; “The Aphid” is the closest thing they’ve made to a novelty dance number. Unmissable bonus track: “Glam Racket/Star,” a blazing, Brix-augmented rewrite of an Infotainment Scan song.