Artist of the Week: The Fall
The Fall (1976) is an English post-punk band from Manchester whose ever-changing line-up is a proof that the group has mostly been a vehicle for its founder, only constant member and indie cult legend Mark E. Smith‘s artistic vision. Though The Fall music has evolved through many stylistic changes, their sound has maintained some key features during the last four decades: grainy, repetitive and cacophonous guitars and keyboards with mostly spoken vocals that echoes Smith’s unique approach to wordplay, cutting-edge social observations, cynicism and misanthropy.
Though they did manage to have a couple of UK Top 40 hits in the 80s, The Fall has always been a cult act in the vein of The Velvet Underground: if only a minority of music fans listen to their records, the truth is that many of those who did formed a band because of them. Amongst their small and dedicated fan base was BBC highly influential disc jokey John Peel who famously praised how their versatility never scratched the identity and quality of their prolific output.
The new Re-Mit, their 30th album in 34 years, is a fine addition to their aggressive and idiosyncratic take on experimental rock’n’roll that will not only please The Fall devotees, but will hopefully add some casual listeners to their restricted fan base.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.