Having cheerfully told the world that the last Fall album was rubbish, Mark E Smith returns with an upbeat, garagey collection that owes as much to The Monks and The Seeds as it does to anything else.
There are top riffs on No Respects Rev. and Irish (which has the jungle rumble of classic Fall), major energy on the brilliant opener No Respects (Intro), and there’s a proper Fall classic in the final track, Lodestones. Mark E Smith’s voice sounds increasingly bizarre (no mean feat, given that it’s Mark E Smith’s voice) and there’s no let-up in the variety of his lyrical conceits.
The best song here has to be Sir William Wray (possibly one of the only songs ever written about a 17th-century baronet), with its cheap organ riff and completely incomprehensible lyric shouted and snarled by Smith as if from the depths of a rambling dream. The fact that The Fall are still going is remarkable enough; the fact that they’re still making extraordinary records is even more so.