The Fall - Perverted By Language
(Superior Viaduct)

This week we welcome back the Fall with Superior Viaduct's latest installment in their comprehensive reissue series from this seminal band, 1983's Perverted By Language. Now available on vinyl for the first time in the US. This record is usually referred to as the bands’ first noticeable step towards a more “pop” oriented sound, but don't let that fool you. It’s full of the same rumpus and frenzy that the band had not only trademarked, but perfected by this point in their career. By 1985's excellent and essential This Nations Saving Grace, The Fall had proven that you actually could sing along, and maybe even dance along to the madness that Mark E. Smith and Co. delivered. But how did they get there? Tracing their footsteps and their evolution is what makes this band so interesting. Perverted By Language is certainly a transitional album but also takes inventory of all the essential elements and musical devices that the band had played with since their incarnation. Sonically it is more like what is to come from them in the future but structurally, it is a clear reflection of their most recent albums. Some would say that Brix Smith's contributions to the band is what would lead them down a more conventional path with Perverted By Language being her first appearance. This may be true but personally, it's hard for me to believe that Mark E. Smith ever did anything that wasn't of his own invention. His dominance over the band is what makes their music so charming. He serves not only as the front-man, but as the conductor and the drill sergeant. Similar to how Captain Beefheart was able to write every note of music his Magic Band would play, even though he was unable to perform on any of the instruments, at least in the traditional sense. That struggle between dominance and submission is a vital part of the bands’ sound. By this point, The Fall cultivated a sound of unified dissonance, and it seems as if that unification is what unfortunately gets reduced down to the label of “pop” which classifies their mid 80's output. The chaos that the band is known for is still as unavoidable as ever on Perverted By Language but the band had realized that there is just as much power in disorder as there is in discipline. (Adam)
Check out a track here