The revitalized, Brix-enhanced Fall lineup of 1996 roars out of the gate on this messy but vigorous album, their first following the firing of longtime guitarist Craig Scanlon during the eight months’ worth of sessions for their “Chiselers” single. (That exhaustively reworked song turns up on this reissue in all three of its versions.) The band essentially recorded The Light User Syndrome on their own, with Mark E. Smith coming in to add vocals at the end, and the best songs here are tight, taut and riddled with nagging hooks. It’s full of great Fall moments, like bassist Steve Hanley hammering at a low note in the cod-German “Das Vulture Ans Ein Nutter-Wain,” or the heavy-breathing give-and-take between Mark and Brix on “Spinetrak.” A half-as-long version would rank among the Fall’s best records, but too many throwaways, retreads and ill-considered covers weigh it down.
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...