My Top 1000 Songs #652: Paint Work

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.] 

Mark E. Smith & The Fall have a massive catalog of boisterous, at times abrasive post-punk stompers... and this sounds like none of them. "Paint Work" (or "Paintwork"), off 1985's This Nation's Saving Grace, is a wholly atypical, almost "Revolution 9"-like audio collage, melodic and surprisingly psychedelic. There's a pretty, endlessly repeated acoustic guitar hook (the pop leanings of Smith's then wife Brix shining through), overlaid with various found sounds and stray, almost indecipherable mutterings from Smith. The long and gentle piece is occasionally broken up by a more rocking riff and, once, an apparently inadvertent tape splice where the random sounds of a tv documentary cut into the song. Maybe it's just being a fellow Marc that makes me sit up and take notice of Smith's repeated refrain, "Hey Mark, you're messing up the paintwork!" Ultimately, it's a headphone-friendly exploration that wields the band's bluster to a surprisingly gentle and inviting sonic playground, resulting in an unexpectedly memorable and arty little tangent.

Animated fan video:
Check out this lovely live cover from electronic band Globo: