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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

This Nation’s Saving Grace

The Fall

1985

Wikipedia

This Nation’s Saving Grace

Rating

2.93

Votes

3283

Reviews

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4

Mark E. Smith sounds like he's on the wrong end of a radio for much of the runtime. A radio somewhere with thick, poisonous air, a shot out of a horror film. The difficulty doesn't come from that, however. It comes from the complexity of the texture. My ear was frustrated at first, and even after latching onto the guitars the rest of the music evaded simple recognition. In an ideal world, I'd prefer more and stickier bass and drum grooves: The guitar lines are too subtle to hook me. The samples (?) and occasional instruments are used deftly, on the other hand, and there is clearly precedent here for Sleaford Mods and Viagra Boys, very different bands which I am more familiar with. L.A. is a highlight, denser than the rest of the tracks and operating as a sonic and geographic escape. There's a horn-like tone on one of the early tracks which truly sounds wrathful. Damo Suzuki annoyed me a little bit. It's a meandering project, not quite as discursive as I prefer. The music feels litanic at times, but there are enough excursions from that space to keep things fresh.

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5

Surprisingly excellent. I’m a big punk fan but I’d never heard of The Fall and I’m so glad I did. Really cool kinda droning art-rock take on punk music. Reminds me of Velvet Underground or like a pre-LCD Soundsystem

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4

Extremely idiosyncratic and hard to get into, but memorable in a good way.

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4

What a lovely drunkard. Such grooves.

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3

Post-punk poets? Post-poetry punks? Punk-poet posties? If you're gonna make approximately 5 squillion albums in your band's lifetime, looseness has to be some kind of categorical imperative. That's certainly true of this mob, in which case something as restricting as genre is for the birds. But poetry in music isn't just about diddling words. It's about tone and feel too. And seeing as looseness as categorical imperative borders on "all art is useless" and some kind of poet said that, we may have our answer after all: all of the above.

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2

Bad Talking Heads? Not my thing.

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2

Definitely cool, but a bit cacophonous for me

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2

I don’t like it. The British punk thing is cool, but it sounds like they were writing these songs while they were recording them. They found a two-bar lick they liked, stuck it on repeat, and mumbled over top of it.

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1

90% of time I can't tell what they're saying. The production value is among the worst I've ever heard. Additionally, and it might be intentional, but sometimes it seems like the band isn't playing the same song as the vocalist or the other musicians. Best song on the album was Rollin' Dany. Then I looked it up and it's a fucking cover. The original sounds so much better too. Best thing I can say about them is the album artwork is nice and the song titles are interesting. To their credit, the songs don't all sound the same.

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5

Love the funky bass. Guitars could have been Johnny Marr. Perfect mix of early madchester-sound and more depressing post-punk. Best: Barmby, Spoilt Victorian Child, Cruisers Creek och My New House.

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5

The missing link for me for so many bands that I like

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5

I've always skirted around The Fall, never truly getting into them or learning about them. Very glad I'm getting the chance to- only a few songs in and I can tell I really like it. It feels like hypnotic, half-obscene punky ramblings. "Spoilt Victorian Child", "LA", were fantastic.

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5

Punk rock it’s good

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5

Production: 16/20 Songwriting: 15/20 Innovation: 17/20 Bangers: 20/20 Emotional response: 17/20 =85 Syooooooperbo

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5

Never heard of this before but will listen again

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5

Love the fall!

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5

Haven't heard it before, love it.

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4

closer to 3.5

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4

3.5

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4

IT'S THE FALL INNIT

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4

This album was really good! I know that I've listened to it before, but This was definitely the first time unpaid attention, well worth it.

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4

i really liked some of it. some poo

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4

Bon album de punk/rock/grunge anglais, doux et bien monté

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4

I really enjoyed this album, had some bangers

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4

A fun, interesting mix of genres. Kind of a post-punk vibe throughout, but sometimes it goes full Stooges-style punk. Other times we get Rockabilly. A real treat from start to stop.

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4

Punk ochentero.

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4

V good added most to the playlist. Favourite track Couldn't Get Ahead

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4

My 2nd favourite Fall album out of the 10 or so I've heard. It probably just sounds like an old man rambling which to be fair it is

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4

love this genre, this was good but not one of the best of them

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4

Hard work!

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4

Post punk y Psycho rock se abrazan a ritmo motorik,se acercan a la melodía pop con Can en la cabeza como obsesión y espejo. Contundente y áspero. Muy bueno.

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4

Brilliant stuff - will be back for more

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4

I like it. Unique sounds

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4

Never listened to The Fall before. I can see mclusky getting some inspiration from here.

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4

Great Post-punk band from UK. The music in general was very good and I enjoyed it.

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4

Wasn't expecting to enjoy this, but there are some real gems on there... especially paintwork.

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4

Often imitated, never duplicated; no one does sprechgesang as well as Mark E. Smith. He was a cantankerous lad and his attitude sure bled into his work--and to its benefit. Fundamental piece of post-punk right here. Standouts include: "Spoilt Victorian Child", "I Am Damo Suzuki", and "Gut Of The Quantifier". Brix's vocals adds a pop element that's missing from some of their more inaccessible tunes. Loving her voice and the harmonica on "Couldn't Get Ahead" and that pop groove on "paintwork" is hella infectious. That said, it's a long album and it takes a couple songs to ramp up speed at the beginning. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 (4.5 if I could)

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4

Kinda digging it.

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4

a touch freeform for my taste but obviously a pillar of punk and other inspiration

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4

The one shifted around a lot while listening to it but I ended up on a 4. It got unusual enough while still staying within the realm of dang good.

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4

This album was a blast

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4

Seriously thought this was a Hot Topic "mallpunk" band based on the name. Like a band that would open for My Chemical Romance. Nope. This is old and good. But I can see this band having influenced a lot of those bands. This was a totally unexpected treat and I'll definitely listen again and explore their discography.

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4

J’ai bine aime, u; bon vibe et une belle struture. Punk rock a son mielleur. 4.10

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4

The Fall is a great band and this is another one of their great albums

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4

Mark E. Smith's singing is garbled, the instruments sound out of tune and it sounds like it was recorded in a toilet block, with a cheap cassette player. Yet it is a brilliant, unique and exciting album that has served as an inspiration for so many acts that followed (yes I am looking at you Pavement). I don't listen to the Fall nearly enough

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4

Definitely a keeper, I have to let this one soak in for a bit before I'm ready for the final rating

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4

Good solid punk, have been exposed to a bit of the Mark E Smith lore via Adam Buxton so was kind of familiar with the context.

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4

The first time listening to the fall. And wow these are the albums we love on this list, not a huge post punk fan so the vocal style does take a bit of getting used to, but feel this is just one of those albums you can keep coming back to and getting so much more from each time. Interesting that this music is the in thing for so many new bands in the U.K. at the moment, (As seen this week with Yard Act debut album getting no2 in the charts) the Fall clearly a huge influence for all these bands.

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4

Surprisingly good. Had heard of this band, but this was a first time hearing them. I like.

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4

Fáránlega gott post-punk.

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4

Manchester stvarno je glazbeni capital of the world.

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4

Vjerujem da nije baš lako njih slušati i da ti bude ono nešta wow, ali meni imaju. Mark E. Smith je gospon (počivaj u miru), koji nije pjevao, već je non stopno pričao kroz svaku pjesmu, ali na svoj način da ne ispadne skroz monotono jer u kombinaciji njegove priče koje znaju biti satiričine, realne, čudne i imati repetecije s ciljem naglašavanja nekih dijelova (gdje se meni čini da taj repetativni dio ne mora predstavljati neke veoma važne riječi) ide i ritmični, jači i ponekad dost' glasni instrumentali što oboja ono što žele opisati. Osjeti se dosta utjecaja na današnji post-punk - hladni zvukovi gitare i basa, glasovi - taj način izvođenja pjesama koje me podsjećaju upravo na našeg Markića i samim time vjerujem da su kao grupa napravili jako jako veliki posao u ostavljanju utjecaja u glazbi. Gle, Sonic Youthu su bili jedni od utjecaja, šta imam više za reć. Pjesme sa ovog albuma koje bih izdvojio su: Barmy, Spoilt Victorian Child, L.A., My New House, Couldn't Get Ahead (iako nije na original izdanju, nego na kazetnom) i Paintwork. Mark je volio derat po pivu, pa eto Mark, danas ću popit jedno pivo u tvoje ime. Cheers.

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4

I should really listen to more post punk

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4

Very cool! certainly deserving of more listens. I look forward to getting to know it better. Favorite Tracks: Vixen, Barmy

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4

Really enjoyed this one, I'm a sucker for this genre and this era so I knew pretty quickly I was doing to like it.

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4

Lotta cool stuff here. So many songs that just have really hypnotic, catchy riffs that are calm yet also ominous. Simple but effective. And then there’s I Am Damo Suzuki which caught me really off guard with the polyrhythms

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4

This album is a wonderfully cohesive mix of post-punk/new wave with a healthy dose of 60s garage rock in the style of MC5, rockabilly, and surf rock. The mixture of these more diy genres fits in well with the Fall’s post-punk ethos. Despite the genres involved, the production is very slick and precise. I was disappointed by some of the Fall’s later work, but this album captures their essence at its peak and I understand now why they’re important.

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4

There is definitely something catchy in it. Anyway, it's more like background music.

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4

Better 80’s punk album. No hits though but a nice listen

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3

6.5/10 F.t.: I am Damo Suzuki

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3

I like the music

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3

konstigt som fan och sången är konstigast av allt. men det finns något najs med det, ett gött driv som påminner mig om war on drugs eller vetiver.

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3

There are some interesting bass parts, but it leaves much to be desired. 7

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3

little bit samey with the guitar. god some songs acc sound so off tho ... mmm kinda hot tho

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3

I’ve hear The Fall, but never a full album. I like this a lot and needed to hear it, I think! Reminds me of Bad Religion in some ways.

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3

Not bad. Not bad at all.

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3

Honestly enjoyed this one. Not my absolute favorite thing, but one of the more enjoyable punk albums for me Favorite track: “Barmy”

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3

I feel like this name comes up in lists and recommendations all the time. I can't say I've ever listened to anything by them. I like the twangy surf rock vibes of some of the songs. Nothing is really jumping out at me as must listens, but I enjoyed the listen.

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3

I like this type of post-punk music, but the album itself is just good, nothing really special.

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3

Un dels discos més accessibles de The Fall. Malgrat això, continua requerint una dosi important de predisposició a l'escolta. Un cop dins, l'aventura val la pena: riffs que se't queden clavats, melodies cruixents, cançons com cap altres; un desafiament amb una bona recompensa

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3

Kinda mixed feelings. Sounds like, post-punk but with a but of a blues influence. Thought it was good but couldn't really decide how much I liked it.

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3

Hier en daar een nummer met leuke (bas)rifjes, maar hier en daar ook een minder nummer

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3

Lyrically not great but found it to be very interesting nonetheless.

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3

Enjoyed this more than I expected. Although, l'm more interested in the story of Mark E. Smith and the Fall more than their music.

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3

Mixed feelings on this one. I can't help but feel like a little editing would have gone a long way on this one. The material doesn't really justify the run-time, but there's some really excellent moments as well. I can appreciate the disaffected post-punk energy, but it just feels a little muddled to me while giving off a greater air of artfulness or importance than it can back-up with the songs. Favourite track: To Nk Roachment: Yarbles

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3

I'm going to have to agree with Nick's comments, this record's runtime is a bit of a slog, which I suppose relates to the records themes. A real upside down/mirrored look at our world, stripped of it's joys and stranding us in a horrific atmosphere. The post-punk poetry here sometimes hits the mark, but can feel a little aimless at times. Rating: 2.5/5 Fav tracks: L.A. and To Nk Roachment: Yarbles

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3

every other post punk singer wants to be mark e smith so bad and this album makes that extremely clear... paint work

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3

No me gustó mucho, después de un tiempo se vuelve un poco monótono.

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3

I enjoyed this album, but I feel like it could've been five songs shorter. The repetitiveness was nice in the first half, creating a hazy, timeless effect through each song, but by the end of the album it all just started to sound the same.

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3

I’m glad I’ve listened. I liked Spoilt Victorian Child 😅

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3

average

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3

Pretty good! Not what I'd usually listen to but it wasn't bad :D

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3

Barmy is great. I'd add that one to my punk playlist. Mansion and the similar-sounding To Nik Rocachment: Yarbles are nice bookends to start and end the album. The first couple of times I listened I wasn't impressed but, it started to grow on me. It has its moments. Standout: Barmy

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3

hedwiggy a bit

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3

Admittedly, I know nothing about this band. But I did enjoy the first 30 minutes of this album, then it started to lose me only because of the length. It has a really nice Clash/Smiths ‘punk’ vibe that really appeals to me. This is the first time since we started doing this that I’ve listened to an album by a band I know nothing about and am pretty sure I’ll check out more of their catalogue from this.

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3

Nothing too special about this album. Often too repetitive at times. Some songs were cool bit got old quickly enough.. nothing too bad.

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3

Really liked the music but the incoherent and repetitive lyrics really killed it for me. There were a couple of decent songs at the end to salvage it though.

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3

Pretty good album from a band I new little about

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3

Reminds me of a free form Pixies. Good background music if you are feeling a little agro while exercising or doing physical activity

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3

Decent punk rock album. Felt like it lasted a bit longer. The instrumentals were good and the sounds were familiar to other punk albums. In all it was a pretty average album. 5.7/10

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3

decent, first song was way more interesting than the rest.

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3

Interesante, oscuro, buen disco

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3

The best of this album IMO: - Bombast - L.A. Sounds like they recorded the first songs that came in their minds while in a jam/improv session. It's not a bad thing. Some songs lack variation - they repeat the same lyrics and same riffs over and over and over, like looping the same 4-bar sequence ad infinitum (j'exagère un peu). I enjoyed the more instrumental songs like Bombast and L.A. These are the kind of songs I get in my fever dreams. 2.8/5

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3

not so bad really

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3

nah 3/5

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3

Enjoyable

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3

Good post punk. The mixing does seem to be a little off though, the vocals seem too quiet on some tracks.

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3

The first two songs are good, song 3 Barmy is great, with a a weird rhythm guitarcdriving the song. The songs of the fall are all kind of weird and quirky...kind of a post-punk / new wave Captain Beefheart. Mark E. Smith's through a megaphone style vocals are certainly an acquired taste. Not much conventional song structure here, just Smith ranting over strange rhythms. But I like it, though a full album can get daunting. 3.5 🌟

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3

Pretty good post punk? Surprised me.

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3

3 1/2

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3

Fell

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3

Blah. Some cool riffs but a bit repetitive.

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3

Je ne connaissais pas du tout le groupe. C'est vraiment intéressant. Un peu marginal, mais quand même accessible. La version originale de 11 pièces est assez longue. Les ajouts sont plus pour les fans ce qui en fait au final un album trop long pour moi. Pour un album de 1985, il n'est pas marqué dans cette époque. Je vais assurément y revenir. Pièces préférées: L.A., To Nk Roachment: Yarbles, Mansion

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3

Not bad music. Won’t be one of my favorites

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3

Miks psychodeliczengo punk rocka, ciekawe linie melodyczne w niektórych utworach, ale jednocześne nie zapadły specjalnie w pamięci.

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3

Let’s suppose this is an important and representative example of “post-punk.” In that case although I liked listening to this once through, I don’t think I will be looking for more. Another case of nearly all songs being 2-3x longer than they should be. Probably they were fun live, tho.

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3

It was just ok.

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3

Glad I listened to this. Not my favorite genre, but I appreciate it.

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3

Proto punk

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2

Neato

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2

I liked one song

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2

Starts out decent but begins to fall off quite a bit, way too long, bad singing, just not my genre and truly forgettable

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2

punk like this always seems so self-indulgent. Like "yeah we're gonna just mess around and you're gonna like it" Punk always feels like they just got drunk the night before and then forgot to write a song. Which to be fair is pretty damn punk BUT it still sounds...last minute. I'm just gonna yell "Spoilt Victorian Child" and it's supposed to mean something besides "Oh no I forgot to write a song"

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2

Just not very interesting to me.

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2

Eh, it was fine.

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2

simple, repetitive and monotonous

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2

Meh. Not my thing.

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2

Arty punk music made by and for people who think that enjoyable music is too bougie for them

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2

It was fine, I liked it a little better than PJ Harvey. I didn't find the music special in anyway. I suppose that has been the point, there are genre defining albums. I certainly found other albums from this era superior. meh out of 5

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2

It actually starts off decent with some catchy riffs and punk style songs. The B Side unfortunately takes it over a cliff.

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2

Meerdere keren gekeken wanneer het afgelopen ging zijn. Een album zoals er dertien in een dozijn zijn.

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2

2/5 in the end it didn't even matter

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2

2.5

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2

unremarkable early british punk. all kind of blended together.

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2

Didn't find this particularly memorable outside of the riff in the first 30 seconds.

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2

It was ok.

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2

Decent album, but not entirely my thing

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2

this is really not my thing. three songs in, gonna give it maybe one more song. 1 star so far. maybe 2 for production.

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2

ehhhhh nothing that caught my attention 2.4

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2

While there were some tunes in there, I did find the sound and the vocals rather unpleasing. Sorry

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2

Instrumentation was good, but the vocals made it too much like annoying noise for me to really enjoy.

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2

Tästä ei saanut oikein otetta. Periaatteessa ihan menevää postpunk-räminää mutta genrelle ominaisesti kappaleet on pääosin aika kuraa. Saman aikakauden yhtyeiltä löytyy huomattavasti laadukkaampiakin julkaisuja tästä genrestä. 2+

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2

Ei oikein tämä post-punk tms. napostele. Vähän tuli Talking Heads tästä mieleen. Ei nyt ihan täyttä kuraa, mutta ei oikein myöskään minun kuppini teetä.

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2

I'm sure this is a fantastic album for folks that really enjoy a particular flavor of punk. I am not one of those folk, and this makes the second 2-star album in a row. C'mon, albums generator! Gimme something I can like!

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2

Eh. It starts out like the cliche 80s awkward anxious stuff that was popular at the time and gets better as the album goes on.

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2

Ok

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2

Weird punk album, the fall is not my thing

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2

Probably innovative for its time, a precursor to Modest Mouse and other better noise that came after, but for that, still kind of sucks.

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2

Weird and unpleasant.

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2

kind of sounds like talking heads

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2

It did not take me long to discover that I don't like this

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2

Meh, got some okay tracks on it. Bit long and it gets irritating after a while

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2

Engelsk punk bliver hurtigt meget trættende

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2

A few catchy riffs, notably Barmy, and slightly more coherent vocals than other Fall efforts but a long way to go before the accessibility of The Infotainment. Not awful.

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2

Brzmiało jak coś co mógłbym polubić, mimo najszczerszych chęci nie udało się. Ciekawe linie melodyczne, ale niezbyt interesujący głos, technicznie jakoś nie powala, koncepcji albumu też zbytnio nie rozumiem - wydaje się losową zbieraniną dość generycznych tracków.

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2

I tried to like it. Tried real hard, made several attempts. Depsite this, I didn't find it enjoyable as a whole. It has some interesting sounds, but it doesn't outweigh the debatable vocal. Not my jam, at least at the time of listening.

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2

If The Clash and The B52s had a baby and The Talking Heads were godparents… 😬

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2

Pretty rough around the edges, don’t think this has aged well

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1

Punk rock, repetetive guitar-riffs, oprørsk, dystert, hypnostisk

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1

Actually, quite scary.

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1

Well, that was interesting. The best way I can describe this is artfully removing the art from music. The repetitive droning and intentionally bizarre vocal style seem to be designed to draw your attention to the lyrical content, then reinforce it with repetition. In other words, to me this isn't about making music, it's about using elements of music as a vehicle for promoting the ideas held in the content of the lyrics.

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1

Songs that go nowhere with an idiot mumble barking over them.

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1

I don't like, or see the point of, The Fall. I don't get why people love them so much, or would choose to listen to them.

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1

not familiar and don't want to be

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1

ruim

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1

Not my cup of tea at all. Very mushy sound with noting really happening. Noise.

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1

1pokito mejor q los otros..

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1

I thought I would like this, given the genre, but it didn't grab me at all.

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1

I'm sorry, I couldn't make it through it. Too long and uninteresting. Really just didn't dig it. I've also just not had a great day, so maybe my perspective is skewed. Also, The Fall is a terrible band name.

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1

Awful. Couldn't make it through it all. Very random and generic sounding

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1

Wonder if it's better than Live at the Witch Trials. The worst album yet. Yea this sucks.

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1

A drunk asshole mumbles into a microphone while the bass player uses studio time to learn scales and the rhythm guitar does whatever it wants. Occasionally, a girl who can't carry a tune shows up to sing. Might be tolerable if they were sticking it to the man or something, but it's all pseudointellectual navel-gazing. Best track: Mansion

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1

Did not like this one at all.

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1

Every chorus was them repeating the name of the song over and over again. Like a shitty British version of Jet. Stopped 3/4 of the way through the album. Favorite song - L.A.

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1

Garbage

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Would listen again. A few to add to playlist.

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