Review Summary: They came to earth..EP I
It’s 1981. A new decade’s modus had just come around, punk was dead, hardcore was yet to rear its ugly buzz-cut head, and arrangements were only getting lusher from the underground up. Guitars were read their rights, given a gun salute, and then unceremoniously tucked away behind dense layers of synths. The stalwarts were either shoved to the side, marginalized, forgotten or washed up. Plant strikes, parcel bombs, the IRA, shadow cabinets, Maggie Thatcher, Chariots of Fire
, the Yorkshire Ripper and motherfu
cking cricket. And right in the thick of all that, hot off the heels of Grotesque
and less than a year away from dropping the savagely intoxicating Hex Enduction Hour
, The Fall threw Slates
into the midst. The habit hadn’t changed – the guitars, punishingly addictive, the synths, minimal, absurd and strictly gaudy, the lyrics, as caustic, frisky and learned as one could expect. Amelioration picked up off the floor like a pesky insect and tossed out the door into the riots and smog.
Long-heralded by fans as The Fall’s best work, Slates
is nothing that would win them new garrisons, solidify their place in the armpit of the underground, or even get the layman to brand them as remotely ‘good.’ What it is, is another ragged breath from the mouths of the unwanted, another set that made the Sex Pistols seem like brats, the Clash a bunch of frivolously liberated kids, the Damned like a painted horrorshow; another set that crawled from factory muck to bring you England’s best sneer, out of some teeth-gnashing corner, un-prim and snug, someplace halfway between Fawlty Towers and the Kray Twins.