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FALL, THE - Slates LP

Superior Viaduct

FALL, THE - Slates LP

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LP edition compiles the six tracks from the original EP release, their March 1981 Peel session and an early '80s studio outtake. Liner notes by Brian Turner.

Slates is held up as their best document by a healthy part of their fan base and one can hardly blame people for choosing this relatively concise summation of what The Fall can do as their gold standard. Each of the six tracks is basically an upper-tier demonstration of the different modes that the band could adopt at this point, and even though that makes the EP a bit disjointed as a standalone document it's hard to debate the quality of the material itself.

The fact that the band was relatively stable at this point means that there's a degree of lived in... comfort? Even the burbling tension between Riley and Smith - "Middle Mass" is apparently the latter's missive against the former though in typical MES fashion the swipes are oblique and nigh on indecipherable - can't derail the feeling that this iteration of the band had developed something resembling chemistry in their time together. Just listen to the way that they ride the two riff groove of "Slates, Slags, etc." in a way that keeps it from feeling repetitive, or how they work together to make the most of the sub-two minute "Prole Art Threat". "Prole Art Threat" especially is one of their best punk numbers - but this core group of players finds the best way to enhance each other's performances and it really works to the material's advantage.

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