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Von Südenfed: Tromatic Reflexxions

Album: Tromatic Reflexxions
Label: Domino

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Like The Fall's last great album (2000's The Unutterable), or collaborations with techno artists Coldcut and D.O.S.E., Tromatic Reflexxions pairs Mark E. Smith's caustic rambles with sharp blasts of electronics, courtesy of his fellow iconoclasts in Mouse On Mars. The result is some of the most satisfying work either has done in years. From the swaggering "Fledermaus Can't Get Enough" to the glammy Madchester rave "The Rhinohead" to the surprisingly sentimental "Dearest Friends," the merger between the post-punk elder statesman and the anti-pop duo is mutually beneficial, downplaying Mouse On Mars' quirky-cuteness and giving Smith's grumpy-old-man shtick—so tired and dutifully employed on The Fall's recent Reformation Post T.L.C.—a new lease on life. For the first time in years, Smith declaring "I am the great MES!" in the coda of "Family Feud" sounds more like a rallying cry than an excuse. More, please.