The Fall – Ersatz G.B.
Having created two essential Fall albums in recent times (last year's Your Future Our Clutter and 2008's Imperial Wax Solvent), Mark E Smith's current line-up looks set to challenge the achievement of the band that made seminal 1985 LP This Nation's Saving Grace. There's nothing quite as stirring as last year's Bury Pts.1+3 here, but Nate Will Not Return and Taking Off offer up a similar cocktail of half-rhymes, free associations and propulsive bass-lines.
Greenway, the most peculiar piece on the album, employs severe, Slayer-like riffs and a fragmentary tale of Danish TV and cats to striking effect. Eleni Poulou coaxes a slender performance from the rhythm section to cushion her lead vocals on Happi Song – a well-placed counter to the multi-layered drums and verbal repetitions of I've Seen Them Come and Age of Chang. Make no mistake, Ersatz G.B. is yet another inventive addition to the Fall canon. [Simon Fielding]