The Fall: This Nation's Saving Grace 12" (new)

Beggar's Banquet Records


As stubbornly maverick as ever, the Fall's tenth album hinges on their now-accustomed dissonance, into which a tighter, commercial edge was introduced. New guitarist Brix Smith, wife of leader Mark E., added a partly melodious sheen that brought an air of 60s subculture to the group's post-industrial rattle. Nothing was sacrificed in the process and while "Bombast" hurtles with a vicious power, talismen Can were acknowledged in "I Am Damo Suzuki," the name of the German band's Japan-born singer. Mark Smith towers over the proceedings, his voice prowling about the music, enhancing its intensity. This album shows the Fall extending stylistic barriers without sacrificing their individuality.

Our take: One of my favorite LPs from the mighty Fall finally gets reissued! Whenever someone expresses curiosity about the Fall, This Nation's Saving Grace is always the LP that I point them toward. As the best and most consistent LP of the Fall's most accessible period, TNSG is the Fall at their most proto-indie, which is still very much the Fall and hence weird by most anyone's standard. Songs like "Spoilt Victorian Child," "L.A.," and "Gut of the Quantifier" seem to me like the main place where bands like Pavement and the Pixies copped a lot of their sound, and while the Pixies in particular are a band I just can't listen to anymore I still eat up TNSG like candy. And then, of course, there are the slightly more askew songs like "Bombast" and "I Am Damo Suzuki," which are bound to be the pet favorites of any die-hard Fall fan. Whether or not you even want the perfect entry into the world of the Fall that this LP provides, though, This Nation's Saving Grace is without a doubt a stone-cold classic post-punk LP... one of the best things to come out of Britain in the 80s and essential listening for anyone interested in underground music of the period.
Tags: 80s melodic post-punk reissues UK