The Fall, Hex Enduction Hour

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 07.11.12 in Reviews

The Fall’s fourth, darkest and densest album is in fact exactly an hour long, with a two-drummer lineup grinding out repetitive, churning riffs while Smith declaims knotty, furious, half-abstract phrases about Nazis, a bitter priest, desolate English landscapes and being “humbled in Iceland.” It’s effectively rock as a way of getting people to listen to poetry readings. But the poetry is amazing, and so is the rock — they’d invented a musical and lyrical idiom that sounded unlike anything before it, and as hard as the album can be to take on a first listen, it opens up like a dark flower with repeated exposure. Hex Enduction Hour had an enormous influence on the American post-punk scene, too — bands from Mission of Burma to Pavement echoed its shadowy, gnarled riffs.