The Fall: This Nation's Saving Grace: Pitchfork Review
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Cover Art The Fall
This Nation's Saving Grace
[Beggars Banquet]
Rating: 10.0

One of the strongest-ever Fall releases, This Nation's Saving Grace is perhaps the best record to emerge from the Beggars Banquet Fall era (1984-1989). While the previous album (1984's Wonderful and Frightening World Of...) was hampered by god-awful production (much of the record 'features' the worst sound on a Fall LP since 1979's Dragnet, which was, in its day, the be-all and end-all of low fidelity) and a bit too many unsuccessful pop songs (the second side of the LP is brilliant, however), TNSG roars with as much conviction as ever.

The cartoonish, sinister angle which has always been a vital aspect of The Fall's music is particularly effective on this release. Some of their best-ever, halfway-poppy spite rock ("Cruiser's Creek," "My New House") rubs elbows with quite zonked and successful experiments like the tremendous tape cut-up piece,"Paintwork," the soundtrack to infinity "L.A." and their long-awaited Can tribute "I Am Damo Suzuki". (Their equally overdue Captain Beefheart tribute finally took place last year, when "Beatle Bones and Smoking Stones" was covered in a session for John Peel.) Just an embarrassment of riches here -- you've even got some stellar B-sides thrown in -- "Petty Thief Lout," the flip side of "Cruiser's Creek," stacks up nicely to anything they have ever released.

With this re-release, I now own a second CD copy of this release, which means that my total now stands at one LP, one cassette and two CDs of Saving Grace (anyone got a mini-disc or enhanced CD-R copy for trade?) I look back now at the crop of then-great '85 releases and TNSG is the only one in the bunch which doesn't sound the least bit dated twelve years later. Don't make the same mistake the second time around; pick this up and shed a tear over the lost promise of rock authenticity.

-Bruce Tiffee

Sound Clip:
"Couldn't Get Ahead"
converted from:

Monday, October 2nd, 2000
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The Red Line

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