The Fall - Hex Enduction Hour
(Superior Viaduct)

In a catalogue that can feel quite daunting and demanding, Hex Enduction Hour is crucial. Better yet, undeniable. It may even be the template for some of the 90s most revered indie rock LPs from Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted to Guided by Voices’s Propeller. Released in 1982 at a time when new-wave had taken over, Mark E. Smith was at his snarliest and it clearly rubbed off on the band. Apparently the band’s tour in Iceland with its grand yet subdued landscape took hold on Smith so much that they even recorded two songs in Reykjavik. The deliberate, pummeling “Hip Priest” and the improvised “Iceland” originated there, not to mention the cut off “Winter” and “Winter 2” which end and begin Sides A and B respectively. Otherwise everything The Fall are beloved for is here: simple song structures, repetition, crude keyboards, doubled drums, wiry guitars, repetition and Mark E. Smith of course. Standout track? Nearly all of them though “Who Makes the Nazis” is a perfect representative. Lyrical surrealism, moans, fledgling guitars, moos, whips, groans, kazoos, chaos and a muted little bassline holding it down. Essential. (Dom)
Check out a track here