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The Fall Grotesque

Album number three from The Fall arrived a year after Dragnet and with Paul Hanley coming in on drums and the band behind Smith more confident. The Fall is, and was, always about Smith, but the musicians in the band had their moments and should never be forgotten.

Pay Your Rates is a great opener, Smith on top form over a fast beat. New Face in Hell and The Container Drivers are also of equal quality, and I have heard people rave about C n C-S Mithering but for me it’s like a rehearsal where no one is sure what they are playing.

In the Park has Smith on sex which does not happen often but the lyric “But a good mind does not a good fuck make” shows he has a talent to find a lyric for any known scenario. For all his famous awkwardness he must have had a fantastic mind.

The NWRA at over nine minutes is a fantastic song, great lyric, and a kazoo thrown in for good measure, who could ask for more?

I have recommended Steve Hanley’s excellent book already, The Big Midweek a fantastic insight into the band but I must also guide you all to Steve Pringle’s book You Must Get Them All. My reviews are quick snapshots to give you a quick guide to an album. Steve’s book is the book of the year, the definitive chronology of The Fall, buy it or ask for it as a Christmas present.

Finally, if you stream this album the additional tracks Elastic Man, City Hobgoblins, Totally Wired and Putta Block are all worth your time.



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