The Fall began their initial tenure at Rough Trade with a frothing-at-the-mouth live album, Totale’s Turns, that recapitulated their first two years, then took a huge leap forward with the two singles that open this edition of the 1980 album Grotesque: character sketches jacked up on trucker speed, backed by a band that always seemed about to twitch free of the riffs holding it together. Grotesque, though, is where they broke loose from everybody else’s idea of songwriting: These are songs as horror fiction, as fragments of cosmology, as anti-tune demonstrations (which are more convincing in the context of “The Container Drivers”‘ outrageously hard-and-fast rockabilly), as cultural revenge fantasy. Mark E. Smith’s lyrics and performances are both defiantly working-class and indignantly highbrow — the narrator of “The N.W.R.A.” imagines a Northern English counterrevolution after some kind of conquest that corrupts even his own song “English Scheme.” And if you’re curious about where Pavement got their signature sound, look no further than “New Face in Hell.”
By Wondering Sound Staff on 07.11.13 in Icons
Roughly 75 people have been members of the Fall over the last 35 years or so, but only one of them has been in every lineup: inimitable vocalist/lyricist/ranter Mark E. Smith, whose singular and monomaniacal vision drive...
By Andrew Parks on 09.17.14 in News
As TV on the Radio get set to release their first album in four years on November 18, co-founder/producer Dave Sitek has revealed his latest business venture. Much like his Federal Prism label, the ACME Creative Group is...
By Garry Mullholland on 09.09.14 in Features
The U.K. post-punks on the self-sabotage of their bizarre live album 'Document & Eyewitness.'
By Andrew Harrison on 05.10.13 in Reviews
Like pigeons, the council dog catcher, street drinkers and the Queen, it feels like The Fall have always been with us. One day they will disappear and we will wonder who we are without Mark E. Smith's free-form jeremiads...