The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Rope Ladders From Heaven: William Doyle's Favourite Records
Daniel Dylan Wray , March 17th, 2021 10:10

Ahead of his excellent latest album, Great Spans of Muddy Time, William Doyle - fka East India Youth, whose debut EP was first ever record released on The Quietus Phonographic Corporation - talks us through his Baker’s Dozen. William Doyle photo by Ryan MacPhail


The Fall – Grotesque (After the Gramme)
This Nation’s Saving Grace was the first Fall album I heard, and it’s a great gateway album. Then Grotesque intrigued me because of the cover - which has got one of the best covers ever, it looks exactly like the record sounds. ‘Pay Your Rates’ is such an abrasive start to an album, even by Fall standards. I think in my mind before I'd really known about them I thought given they came from Manchester in the late 70s that it stands to reason they'd be part of some sort of punk lineage but they were just totally apart from that. It doesn't take long to get into ‘Pay Your Rates’ before that whole thing gets blown out of the water. All of a sudden it’s like: what the fuck is going on? ‘Pay Your Rates’ was my ringtone at that time. The first half of the record is just fucking unbelievable. ‘C'n'C-S Mithering’ is an absolute fucking masterpiece - I don't know where to begin with that.

As soon as I opened the door to The Fall I just lived and breathed them. I still feel like I'm on the journey. That's such an amazing thing to have with a band - they are just this endless font of fascination to me. I still find Grotesque almost an obscenely difficult record to listen to but that’s why I love it. Just because you find something difficult doesn't mean that it's not something that you want to listen to. That feels like the total antithesis of our time, in our perfectly curated endless streaming continuum we live in. But if you can hold onto that thing that you find jagged and unpredictable and almost distasteful at times and yet have a totally transformative experience with it, then you're absolutely fucking winning.