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40) The Fall Hex Enduction Hour

The fifth album arrives and according to testaments back then Smith was claiming this was The Fall’s last album. I cannot see that as basically if Smith drew a breath then The Fall existed. He was hardly going to get a normal day to day job like Howard Devoto. I cannot see Smith checking your tickets to get on a train.

If the rumours are true, he was certainly going out with a bang as Hex is stunning.

Part of the album was recorded in Iceland with Karl Burns returning on drums but interestingly Paul Hanley remained so The Fall now had two drummers, and this shows on the opener, The Classical, we could do without the n word, an obvious mis-step, but “Hey there fuckface.” is unexpected and wonderful. It’s a cracking song. As per usual with with a Fall review I cannot recommend Paul Hanley’s book Have A Bleedin Guess more highly for an insight into the recording of the album.

Jawbone and the Air-Rifle follows and is a, bizarrely, a catchy song with such a strange title. Hip Priest is another classic and one of the bands better known songs as is appears on The Silence of the Lambs soundtrack and is the title of Simon Ford’s excellent book on the band.

Winter is in two parts, the bass from Stephen Hanley is solid and consistent and the band can veer off as he holds it all together, brilliant.

Two hundred words is a struggle but Deer Park, Who Makes the Nazis & And This Day are songs anyone would want in their back catalogue.

Potentially their best.


GIVE IT A STREAM: The Classical

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