Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Fall - 'Dragnet' (COG Sinister)

I guess this is the second Fall album and it's just about perfect. It's recorded with a bit more of a gritty feel than Live at the Witch Trials and the songwriting seems more obnoxious (that's a good thing!) and the great Craig Scanlon has joined the band at this point, able to exude the maximum dissonance within what is still technically a pop song. You can hear it in 'Psykick Dancehall' which builds up a repetitive, annoying high-pitched riff during it's climax. Mark E. is ripping it up too, snarling throughout stuff like 'Printhead', a dark mishmash of punk and DIY singles and whatever else was happening in 1979 Britain. The original liner notes are reproduced here in annoyingly small CD quality, and maybe it's best summed up by Mark E.'s own bio, about his visit to the dry cleaners: 'How did your coat get so dirty, Mr. Smith? What do you do for a living? Answer: I hang around old buildings for hours and get very dirty in one of those hours.' Genius, I guess; dirty buildings do fill the corners of Dragnet, even if it's the 'Flat of Angles'. The longer form jams ('Spectre vs. Rector' and 'A Figure Walks' which is utterly brutal in its monotony) take the promise of early single 'Repetition' and run the course. The people making this would probably never have imagined that anyone would consider it a 'classic' today.