John Mulvey

??MAR93 (album) The Collection



The Collection (Castle Communications CD/Cassette)

OR... DISPATCHES from the edges of logic and tolerance; a historical document 'The Collection'--the title alone proves Mark E Smith had bugger all to do with this one--catches the teeth grinding, sweat and snot-stained, migraine might of The Fall at the start of the '80s. Eighteen tracks of slogging intensity culled from 'Totale's Turns', 'Grotesque', 'Slates', 'Perverted By Language' and two obscure foreign live albums, together with a couple of singles and the NME-requested cover of 'A Day In The Life', staggering in from the late '80s.

'Obstreperousness' sums it all up best. Ranting, rattling, awesomely cranky obstreperousness. Reading the trainspotterish sleevenotes - bland linguistic universes away from MES' incendiary rambles - it's odd to see The Fall treated with the grey gravitas only afforded those of great age and influence. Weird because not only have these songs hardly dated, hardly lost their capacity to unsettle, but because the band are still just as brilliantly difficult; check the newly discovered seam of mutoid - techno/glam/ska strangeness on the 'Why Are People Grudgeful' and 'Kimble' singles. But anyway... rarely has anyone sounded so naturally weird as this. The runaway spiky spite of 'Container Drivers','Leave The Capitol', 'Fiery Jack', and 'How I Wrote Elastic Man' is scarcely uncontrived... and these are the least rough and most accessible moments amidst a plethora of frequently nasty waywardness and largely incomprehensible vitriol. Fitting in nicely before the '458489' Beggars Banquet compilations--this makes a neat, if the word 'neat' could ever be used to describe these ragged creations--primer of the early '80s Fall. 'Obstreperousness incarnate, basically. (8)