Hex Enduction Hour was originally conceptualized as the death knell for The Fall. Beleaguered by career uncertainty and guided by vague premonitions of collapse, Mark E. Smith declared that one full hour was needed to thoroughly and perhaps finally state his case with The Fall. This framework resulted in a true classic of the post-punk era and an album that gave The Fall their first taste of album chart success, thankfully removing surrender from the equation.
Recorded in haste in both Iceland and England in late 1981, the performances on Hex Enduction Hour are among the band’s most urgent and distinctive. The album begins with the severe provocation of “The Classical” and the terse punk of “Jawbone And The Air-Rifle,” but it’s “Hip Priest” that stands out as Smith’s calling-card theme, a song that would become inextricable from his character (or perception thereof) in the years that followed. The elongated “And This Day” fittingly positions the band as spell-casters, closing the hour by filling every conceivable bit of space with wild, primitive percussion and whimsical electric piano.