Formed from the ashes of Disappears, Chicago group FACS come through with their debut LP for Trouble In Mind Records (Ultimate Painting, Negative Scanner). The trio create an almighty racket on Negative Houses. Sky-scraping reverbs recall golden-era My Bloody Valentine, but the lumbering post-punk grooves and screes of guitar invoke This Heat and PiL.
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Scattering the ashes of the moody Disappears contingent into a new band, FACS will of course use their dejected, mundane rock to quietly upset you. I’ll level with you: this goth boy band is pretty much just Disappears redux, minus one Damon Carruesco, who left the band and all the gloom endearing it behind. What you’re hearing in ‘Negative Houses’ is the same nihilistic, void-swarming, post-punk nothing. Grab a chair; find room to fit in their empty, non-existent spaces.
They might sound even less of a proposition now, a band trying their best to sand rock music down to its barest, least affable form: “Houses Breathing” is noise rock played through repetitions, with four straight minutes of bass-tapping and guitar miasma, coalescing like condensation on a window before Brian Case comes in and groans like Trent Reznor before coffee. The added sax skronk is a plus: it gives this band’s blank template a horrifying sequence in which life begins to stir.
If you were patient enough for the obliterating payoff Disappears often delivered, you’ll likely enjoy FACS a good deal: they are dissonant, stubborn and slow, playing with different extremes in sparsity and density as if any breathing middle-ground needs to be suffocated. This is pessimism getting killed off and shrugging about the brooding whatever of it all -- I'm certain it would've been all I'd listen to in my undergrad Philosophy student years.
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