Imperial Wax, the surviving members of the last and longest running edition of legendary Manchester post-punk band The Fall. As the core of The Fall drummer Keiron Melling, bassist Dave “The Eagle” Spurr and guitarist Pete Greenway served 11 years, recording six full-length studio albums and two EP’s with Mark E Smith.
Following Smith’s demise the band received a number of offers to perform as The Fall with guest vocalists. Instead they decided to forge the new act Imperial Wax (named in honor of the first album they recorded with Smith, ‘Imperial Wax Solvent’). Determined to write and record new material while foregoing live appearances (save one show backing Can vocalist Damo Suzuki in an improvisational set) they recruited fellow Northerner Sam Curran as lead vocalist and second guitarist.
Soon they began making ‘Gatswerk Saboteurs’ with producer Mat Arnold (Noisettes, The Coral, Peter Gabriel, The Fall). Curran, quoted from a recent interview with Underscore Part 3 said “We all had equal part in creating the album. We upheld the work style of The Fall and went into the studio with no songs pre-written, each song grew from just a couple of riff ideas recorded on our phones. It was really testing starting the day with what was essentially nothing, but the sense of urgency really focused us because there’s literally no room left in your head to think about anything else.” Ten days later they emerged with what would become the backing tracks with lyrics and vocals added over the ensuing months.
The result is sparkling. While assuredly reminiscent of The Fall, ‘Gastwerk Saboteurs’ succeeds at blazing a new trail. Still dense, noisy and atheistic in regards to genre the approach is (slightly) more melodic and punk in vibe.
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