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Seminal Live

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Album Review

The Fall's contractual obligation album. With Brix leaving (or left, depending on your history) the group, this is a hastily assembled selection of what sound like Frenz Experiment outtakes and nine live tracks, their last for Beggars Banquet. These opening five tracks would have made a nice EP supporting the single "Deadbeat Descendant," the first song featured on the album. They're not among their best, but "H.O.W. (History of the World)" has a certain grim stateliness to it, with a grungy bassline by Hanley leading the group. "Pinball Machine" continues in Smith's long line of rockabilly covers. The remaining live tracks are competent and follow their studio counterparts well enough, but nothing more.

Biography

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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