The Fall, Imperial Wax Solvent

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 07.11.12 in Reviews

Imperial Wax Solvent

The Fall

Tromatic Reflexxions, the terrific album Mark E. Smith made with the members of Mouse on Mars (whose Andi Toma turns up here on “Is This New”) under the name Von Südenfed, may have re-convinced him that spending a bit of effort on production was a good idea. In any case, this 2008 set found yet another new lineup’s grumpy, minimal rock riffs augmented by curious studio gestures and abrupt shifts in fidelity. Its centerpiece is the jaw-dropping rant “50 Year Old Man” (“…and I liiiike it-uh!“), the longest studio track the Fall have ever released, in the course of which Smith accuses Steve Albini of being “in collusion with Virgin Trains against me.” The best piece of songwriting here, though, may be the fist-in-the-air punk rocker “I’ve Been Duped,” for which keyboardist Eleni Poulou takes over lead vocals.