Review: FACS – Void Moments
National Music Reviews
Trouble In Mind Record
FACS = Protomartyr + Boy Harsher
There is so of noise out there in the modern world that it becomes impossible to attach any kind of true emotion to anything when, daily, we are being pummeled with everything. The Chicago-based noise rock/post-punk band FACS understand that you don’t need a thunder clap when you can leak a slow churning narcotic. Their new album, Void Moments, makes me feel nervous, paranoid and unsettled with very little release. However, the relentless noise never completely suffocates—it makes room for some comfort in the claustrophobia.
With the new group FACS, Brian Case dissolved his former band Disappears and evolved his minimalistic sound into an art/punk/noise fusion. Case’s guitar is joined by Disappears’ ferocious drummer, Noah Leger, and Alianna Kalaba, the former drummer of We Ragazzi. Kalaba switches to bass and joins Leger to form a powerful rhythm section that hits like a tidal wave and floods everything on Void Moments. With this strong foundation established, Case unleashes his noise wanderings that weave through every song like snakes.
The opening track, “Boy,” introduces the post-punk hauntings that engulf the entire record and establishes the David Lynch–ian tone of a slow, grinding doom at the edges of reality. “It never happens the way you think,” Case sings as the world swirling around him collapses. The track “Teenage Hive” is the bizarro antithesis to “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The Nirvana anthem announced itself: “Here we are now / Entertain us”. The only anthem that comes out of the din of “Teenage Hive” is, “No definition.” It’s the call of a new generation that refuses to be defined. The track just quietly explodes all over the place. The noise doesn’t necessarily overwhelm, it just whirls around and slowly crushes at the last possible moments. I love how this record makes me feel equal parts solace and unease. The instrumentation does all the work on the album. The vocals on Void Moments are more like loose railings to hold onto as the overall sonic impact quakes everything. The best example of this is “Version.” Here, Leger’s drumming comes across like an anxiety attack. It seems to never stop. Toward the end of the song, a voice can be heard saying, “Did you record that?,” as if there was panic to make sure the moment was captured.
With Void Moments, FACS has delivered a soundtrack to the horror show we are all living in. I feel that if I screamed my existential crisis out into the void, FACS would echo back. I find comfort in that. –Russ Holsten