The Fall - "Re-Mit"
Thirty albums in, does The Fall still have the power to take people by surprise? Their last effort, 2011's Ersatz GB, while undeniably ballsy, saw the band - and ringleader Mark E Smith himself - flirt dangerously with complacency. Worse still, the album's first single, Laptop Dog, was - shock, horror – below par.
No such worries here: Re-Mit is pure unadulterated, vintage Fall. Led by the Record Store Day release Sir William Wray, it grabs the listener by the throat and never lets go, except for a good chuckle during Kinder Spine, in which Smith seems to address a spider while struggling with his dentures – to a garage psych backdrop.
With long-standing compadres Grant Showbiz and Ding Archer at the console, Re-Mit finds The Fall at the very top of their game. The sequence of Irish / Jetplane / Jam Song, in particular, is truly staggering. The latter, thankfully not a Paul Weller cover, exemplifies how Smith gets the best out of his troops: five minutes of analogue keyboard noodling, Crying Marshall-type guitars and hostile drumming, with Smith’s vocals quietly focused as opposed to growling. That the closing, more pedestrian Loadstones feels a bit like an anti-climax takes nothing away from the fact that Re-Mit ranks alongside Grotesque, Country on the Click or any other ‘classic’ Fall album.