Arguably the single greatest album in The Fall’s 41 year history, 1982’s Hex Enduction Hour documents Mark E. Smith at the peak of his powers, fronting the most powerful lineup of the band. Steve Hanley’s bass is generally to the fore, flanked by guitarists Craig Scanlon and Marc Riley, and crucially featuring the twin drums of Paul Hanley and Karl Burns. At this point MES had a knack for combining kitchen-sink realism with the uncanny and supernatural, refracted through a Burroughs-esque prism. Recorded in a draughty cinema in Hitchin and a cave in Reykjavík, the album is bombastic, abstract, abrasive, hilarious, belligerent and utterly exhilarating.
The original crammed an hour of music onto a single LP, but this remastered Superior Viaduct reissue achieves much better sound quality than letting it sprawl over a double. If you’re looking for a way in to a potentially bewildering discography, start here!
Limited Vinyl Triple LP £36.99 BREDT780
Limited edition green & white splatter vinyl reissue 3LP on Cherry Red. Includes bonus 7".
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- Coloured vinyl
- Limited edition
Vinyl LP £26.49 SV115
Reissue LP on Superior Viaduct. Includes liner notes by Brian Turner.
9/10 Penrith Steve 29th June 2015
"Hex Enduction Hour" was the fourth album by The Fall, originally released in 1982, two years after "Grotesque". How a band second only to Robert Pollard in being prolific managed a two year gap between albums, I'll never know. This is my favourite Fall album. It opens with the magnificent clattering chaos that is "The Classical". The clattering chaos is used as a base for Mark E. Smith to shout stuff in his disgruntled, northern way. "Hip Priest" has a slow thump that Pavement took great influence from for "Our Singer", the closing track from "Slanted & Enchanted". "Winter", "Fortress/Deer Park" and "Who Makes The Nazi?" also stand out.
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- Hex Enduction Hour by The Fall
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