The Real New Fall LP
Let’s forget for a moment that 99% of the current crop of girl’s jeans wearing, angular haircut sporting post-punk bands owe every atom of their tattooed existance to bands like The Fall. It’s been six long years of stateside silence for the band, more than enough time for your average scenester to molt several times over. Think about the state of indie rock six years ago compared with now: then it was made by and for anti-socials in their late 20s, now it’s made for 16-year-olds looking to fill empty space on their iPods…
So, in this climate, do The Fall measure up with this new crop, you ask? Get your head out of your ass, of course they do! Mark E. Smith still has the coolest voice in music, and age has only added to his laconic growl. Smith’s band keeps the skinny tie manifestos intact, maintaining the electronics as a textural agent rather than a ubiquitous crutch, of which their bastard offspring are usually guilty. There are also subtle nods to sampling (“Janet vs Johnny”) and American bar rock (“Loop #41/Houston”). In addition to the genre jumping, the album is full of the old punk fervor that Elastica freely aped throughout their short career. “Sparta 2xx” is simply the best punk anthem I’ve heard in years — post-, proto-, pop-, it doesn’t matter. It’s got a perfectly constructed rhythm, a catchy ascending/descending lead guitar riff, female led chanting in the chorus and Smith’s brilliantly incoherent sermonizing over top of it all.
Not that I’d be caught dead listening to most of the new “dark wave” post-emo fodder, but in the wake of this album, no one else should either. Ditch the iPod kids, and let Mr. Smith school you on the importance of the album and the history of music.