The Fall, 'Ersatz G.B.' (MVD/Cherry red)

Ersatz G.B.
Critical Mass
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Label: MVD/Cherry red

by David Peisner

It's the great contradiction of the Fall's 30-odd-year career that their defiant, genre-hopping post-punk racket has, with repetition, become almost predictable. Or at least predictably unpredictable. Mark E. Smith's 29th album with a revolving cast of playersincludes the strangely slinky, dub-inflected "Taking Off"; the fractured rockabilly of "Mask Search"; and the throttling, doomy grunge of "Greenway." One mellow pop confection, "Happi Song," might bereasonably called pretty. Bracing guitar shards invade nearly every peaceable melody, and Smith's sinister, sneering, disjointed babble always confuses more than clarifies — which is, of course, the point.

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