The Fall, The Infotainment Scan

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 07.11.12 in Reviews

Undercutting themselves is one of the Fall’s specialties, and this 1993 set is both the closest thing they’ve made to a straight-ahead pop album and some kind of cruel parody of a pop album. The three covers that anchor it are a disco-era Sister Sledge song about the power of music, with whose lyrics Mark E. Smith takes many liberties; a medley of two misanthropic Lee “Scratch” Perry songs, played as cheerful uptempo dancehall reggae; and an obscurity lifted from a compilation of the worst songs ever, which Smith sings with all his cracked heart. Its highlight is “Glam-Racket,” an appropriation of early ’70s revivalism that savages the same music it embraces. And even though the band is just about the most rhythmically locked-in Fall ever recorded, Smith can’t resist throwing monkeywrenches into the mix everywhere.