Post-rock-inspired outfit FACS formed in Chicago a little over three years ago, in the aftermath of the break-up of Disappears. Guitarist Brian Case and drummer Noah Leger have come a hell of a long way in that time, already on their third (and, again, different-sounding) full-length. Void Walker is arguably their most melodic and direct to date, while remaining faithful to the post-punk minimalism of previous efforts.
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My my, this is a terrific noise. Now already three full-length records into their career, it’s Chicagoans FACS with ‘Void Moments’. Perhaps it’s a little less surprising once you factor in founder members Case (guitar) and drummer Leger’s previous band Disappears. Nonetheless, theirs is a sound which is formidably large: assured, of course, but windswept and towering too. They have remained faithful to their minimalist, post-punk ethos for sure -- but this third album in as many years has added yet another layer onto an already substantial cake. If I may extend the baked-item analogy a little, this record is one which gives up its goodies in 7 nutritious and delicious slices without scrimping on calorific value.
Since their 2019 record ‘Lifelike’, the addition of Alianna Kalaba on bass has added new pathways to an increasingly melodic structure; and yet… and yet this is one whole other abstract woodpile in the band’s run of architectural endeavours. The more Voyager-like tendencies of post-rockers like Explosions In The Sky get channeled and filtered in -- via the swooshes and howls of intergalactic winds. It's breathtaking in its ferocity.
Then, ‘Version’ brings Case’s MBV-summoning guitar to the mix. Heavy like you wouldn’t believe, the foundation-rattling rumblings emanating from ‘Void Walker’ and straight into the next track ‘Lifelike’, threaten to bring the whole thing tumbling down. And maybe it will all collapse, after all. But I’m left thinking it’s just a ruse, just a prevailing breeze to usher in the full weight of the storm (and calm thereafter) of ‘Dub Over’.
Noisy and terrific, then: a record to celebrate all the infinite possibilities; all the imminent moments we’ll be spending in the void. Three cheers to that.
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