The demented cackle that opens The Fall’s umpteenth opus says it all. Having lost the strongest incarnation of his band for years, Fall vocalist and gaffer Mark E Smith hired himself a brand new American combo, who make their recorded debut by assimilating themselves into his stock garage-band chug with aplomb. A typically messy patchwork of self-referential bile, freeform work-in-progress and, on Das Boat, what sounds like an epic piece of sound art, is the result. About to celebrate his 50th birthday, Smith seems to have discovered a whole new gruffness to his bark as he whines with some sense of resignation about how seven year cycles seem to happen every day. Best of all is a doleful version of Merle Haggard’s White Line Fever, the ultimate Country cruise discovering its North-West roots.
The Herald - February 2007