The Fall, The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country On The Click)

Andrew Perry

By Andrew Perry

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A return to form

Through the '90s, Mark E. Smith kept moving, but into increasingly murky sonic waters. Though feted by Nirvana and Radiohead, he fell on hard times, made embarrassing spoken-word appearances for chump-change and became legendary for erratic behaviour. Craig Scanlon and Steve Hanley quit, as did an entire line-up after a fistfight onstage in New York. Thereafter, he hired in a young bunch of Northerners, and with this 2003 album, finally returned to doing what he should've been doing all along — spitting out withering and/or brain-befuddling verse over primeval rock noize. The stand-out: "Theme from Sparta FC," which scarily enters the mind of Eastern European soccer hooligans. In a hilariously Fall-ish twist, it is used as theme music every Saturday on BBC TV's football coverage. Sadly, this whole combo walked out in 2006, after Smith stubbed out a cigarette on their tour bus driver's back (he was doing 80 mph at the time).