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Hip Priests and Kamerads
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Performer Notes
  • HIP PRIESTS AND KAMERADS is compiled from the LPs HEX ENDUCTION HOUR and ROOM TO LIVE and the singles LIE DREAM and LOOK, KNOW.
  • The Fall includes: Mark E. Smith (vocals); Craig Scanlon, Brix Smith, Karl Burns, Stephen Hanley.
  • Recorded between 1981 and 1983.
  • HIP PRIESTS AND KAMERADS is a collection of relatively early (and crucial) material by the original art-damaged British punk band. More than anything else, the Fall is about urgency, a point these early-'80s recordings make clear. Mark E. Smith's monotone speak-sing (a monstrous influence on such post-punk heroes as Pavement and Railroad Jerk) alternates betweena absurdist beatnik wordplay and anti-authoritarian political rants, but his didactisim never becomes overbearing; he's always just self-indulgent enough to be compelling.
  • A driving, rhythmic accessibility peeks out through the chaotic din of angular, distorted guitar lines and the occasional overdriven keyboard, redeeming the band's sonic indiscretions and making Smith's stream-of-consciousness lyrics signify like the best hip-hop. Songs like "Fantastic Life" and "Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul" showcase the Fall at its off-kilter best, teetering on the brink of falling apart, but somehow making it to the finish line intact, and dragging along everything that isn't nailed down in its wake. This is essential listening for anyone interested in the evolution of British punk.
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