"Frightened" has magnetic attraction / repulsion that shifts between Martin Bramah's skeletal guitar, Yvonne Pawlett's plastic keyboards and the lurching rhythm section of Marc Riley and Karl Burns. Mark E. Smith's mesmerizing bark and eerie lyrics warp the cosmic context with each repeated non-chorus. "Rebellious Jukebox" takes yet another turn and showcases the band's more melodic leanings.
One gets the sense that The Fall are in a time-travel hallucination (from 19th century witch trials to a scathing critique of the late-70s punk scene) where the band's snot-nosed scrabble afflicts the shape of pop to come. As Smith dictates, "We are The Fall, northern white crap that talks back."
Superior Viaduct's edition is the first time that Live At The Witch Trials has been available on vinyl domestically since its initial release in 1979. Liner notes by Brian Turner.