BLEURRRRGH!!!!!! That’ll be the sound of 50,000 Fall fans/bores coughing out their dentures when we say that 1986’s jet-black space-punk death-trip Bend Sinister is their greatest LP bar none. More than that, it's easily among the four or five greatest rock’n’roll records EVER MADE. No YOU fuck off. This was the third and final Fall LP with John Leckie attempting to impose mixing desk order, and a reliably paranoid Smith railed at the swampy, trippy feel he was convinced the producer was smuggling in. That tension was presumably key to bringing about this most satisfying iteration of the Fall sound - murky but never muddy, lean and propulsive but almost Flying Nun WIDE, with Steve Hanley’s locomotive basslines flattening everything in their path. It’s also the pinnacle of Brix’s contribution to the group, her unmistakeable VYBZ all over the Lonely Surfer squall of ‘R.O.D.’ and slashing bubblegum riffage of ‘Terry Waite Sez’. Dunno if the received wisdom that this is the Fall’s “gothiest” record holds water - it's just a bit of a moody bastard, not least on the bleakly poetic ‘Gross Chapel - G.B. Grenadiers’ and cruise-control comedown classic ‘Living Too Late’ ("Crow's feet are ingrained on my face...") and their are occasional echoes of McGeogh’s Siouxsie juju in Brix and Scanlon’s locked-antler guitar damage. But these darker innervisions are offset, if not outnumbered, by moments of uninhibited JOY: chief among them the ragged cover of the Other Half’s ‘66 ode to getting twatted, ‘Mr Pharmacist’, which twists whimsical West Coast psychedelia into rowdy terrace-chant while also serving as a gloriously literal expression of Smith's underlying avant-garage agenda. BOOF. Remastered gatefold double-LP with a raft of bonus B-sides strapped on. This is the first and almost certainly the last time we will bother to recommend a Fall reissue to you. Forget everything else they did, just listen to THIS, on repeat, forever. "Watch out! Makers of fads / It's MES in shoulder pads..."