Released: 2015, Noise Salvation Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Nuance and depth are not traits one typically associates with grindcore, especially from a band calling themselves Fuck The Facts. But the Canadian grinders have always had a lot more going on for themselves than the 90-second micro-bursts of dissonance that most folks know grindcore for - and their sound has sometimes strayed well beyond the arbitrary boundaries of the genre.
Due to be released on their own label in August, the band's 10th studio full-length – give or take, their “official” discography is somewhat fuzzy – takes into consideration both the traditional elements of grindcore and the band's sometimes wildly experimental side. Recording with the same lineup that produced 2011's similarly eclectic Die Miserable, Fuck The Facts come out of the gate like a ball of fire with “Elsewhere Yet Nowhere,” a textbook grinder built on Mathieu Vilandré flailing drums, with guitarists Topon Das and Johnny Ibay sawing away for all they're worth while Das and Mélanie Mongeon engage in a shouting match.
But with “Shadows Collide,” things start moving left of center with its sweep of guitar and irresistible hook bringing fleeting moments of genuine melody. The 90-second each tandem of “La Mort I” and “La Mort II” boast even more majestic guitar work in their soaring solos while the push-me, pull-you “Prey” slingshots from blast-beat fury to doomy drone and back again. “Storm The Silence” revisits “Elsewhere's” flame-throwing intensity, but with catchy punk rocky riffs and a nifty lead at its end.
“Solitude” and “False Hope” mark a more dramatic turn as the songs transition from a dead run into more of an industrial strength lurch as the tempos slow and the riffing thickens the further along they travel. This carries even further “Circle,” an eight-minute electronic/industrial exercise – with a splash of piano and violin - that echoes Godflesh when Marc Bourgon's elephantine bass notes kick in. “Nothing Changes,” with its martial pace and cascading Fudge Tunnel-like riffs, close the album on an ominous and quite thunderous note.
The recently issued Insolent from Polish grinders Antigama boasts a similar sort of sequencing, with the velocity and brevity being frontloaded and the more adventurous and expansive moments left to the end. The contrast would seem like it would be more dramatic if the “wildcard” material had been sprinkled betwixt and between, offering an ebb and flow instead of all “flow” followed by all “ebb.” As it is, it's an odd balance to be sure, but that's still not a bad problem to have, because odd balance is certainly better than no balance.