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This Nation's Saving Grace

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Editors’ Notes

One of the longest-running post-punk bands around (1977 to the present), the one mainstay in this Manchester-based act remains benzedrine-addled wordsmith Mark E. Smith, whose strange, shouted "white rapper" vocal delivery is the core of the band. On 1985's Saving Grace, the band continued in a more commercial direction, aided and abetted by Smith's Bennington-grad wife, the vocalist and keyboardist Brix E. Smith. Though sonically almost too pristine in spots, the album's remarkably varied. There's everything from outright dirges ("Bombast") to arty, detuned pop ("Barmy," "Gut of the Quantifier"), as well as psychobilly stompers ("Rollin' Danny"), almost radio ready alt-rock ("Spoilt Victorian Child"), atmospheric experiments (" "Paint Work"), and a quaint tribute to the greatest Krautrock singer ever ("I Am Damo Suzuki").


Formed: 1977 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Out of all the late-'70s punk and post-punk bands, none are longer lived or more prolific than the Fall. Throughout their career, the band underwent myriad lineup changes, but at the center of it all was vocalist Mark E. Smith. With his snarling, nearly incomprehensible vocals and consuming, bitter cynicism, Smith became a cult legend in indie and alternative rock. Over the course of their career, the Fall went through a number of shifts in musical style, yet the foundation of their sound was a near-cacophonous,...
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