Saturday, February 11, 2012

From Iceland To Luton....


For that "difficult" fifth album The Fall released an album that still sounds as fresh, invigorating and inventive today as it did back in '82. I would not recommend Hex Enduction Hour as a starting point if you don't know much about The Fall but Hex is their first truly great album.

Recorded in Iceland and an abandoned cinema in Luton, Hex crackles with the kind of fervor you just don't seem to get from bands today. The album is dominated by the dual drumming of Paul Hanley and Karl Burns and the bass playing of Steve Hanley that drives most of the tracks along. Smith himself rarely sounded as abrasive or vitriolic and the album is all the more essential for it.

Hex contains some of the most uncompromising post-punk songs ever committed to a record with Craig Scanlon providing some of the most abrasive and best guitar playing on any Fall album. They even managed somehow to get Hip Priest on The Silence Of The Lambs soundtrack.

Smith has, in the years since, claimed that he thought Hex Enduction Hour was going to be his last-ever, and maybe that explains why for a lot of people it's the definitive Fall album. Admittedly not as commercial as some of their later material perseverance is the name of the game with Hex so persevere and be rewarded with one of the great Fall albums.

The Fall - Fortress/Deer Park

2 comments:

  1. And if you believe everything you read the album was suppossed to be on Motown until Berry Gordy heard the first 30 seconds of The Classical.

    Grotesque, this and PBL are an outstanding trio of releases. I do introduce potential Fall fans to Hex first, as if they can't get this then there really isn't any point and from then on they are more to be pitied than scorned.

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  2. I suppose there is a kind of perverse logic to that but I prefer to ease them in with a bit of This Nation's Saving Grace before moving them slowly on to the joys of Hex and Perverted By Language....but I can see where you're coming from by throwing them in at the deep end.

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