There is nothing inherently wrong with a band playing within its genre boundaries and trying to perfect that formula. Good, reliable bands are made that way. But I find it more interesting when artists go beyond the fenced-in yard in which they’re supposed to play. Why not mix and match and pour different inspirations into what you do?
Again, I won’t hold it against anyone for not being more daring as long as they deliver solid goods, but when a group finds meaningful ways to break out, damn, that’s exciting stuff. That’s why I’ve always held Fuck the Facts in such high regard because, while grind may be their base, it’s not their be-all, end-all. They’ve always had interests that go beyond the grind territory, and never has that been more apparent than on their new ninth full-length excursion “Desire Will Rot.” It’s heavy and relentless and, yes, completely grinding, but there is so much more going on. In fact, the way the record is put together almost feels like a part one and part two. The first six songs are a little more classic FTF, while the final five tracks branch out into something wild and exciting in a different way.
The new album is their first outside the Relapse banner in many years and is being put out on their own imprint Noise Salvation. The band has remained intact for the past several years, with Mel Mongeon on vocals, Topon Das and Johnny Ibay on guitars, Marc Bourgon on bass and vocals (he and Mongeon basically share duties now), and Mathieu Vilandre on drums. As this band is wont to do, they’ve remained busy since their last album, 2011’s “Die Miserable,” with a few EPs, a couple of splits, and a wide array of live shows keeping them busy and firing on all cylinders. This new record, like any of their smaller releases, is a true DIY effort with all songs produced and mixed by the band, and they sound as channeled and adventurous as ever.
“Everywhere Yet Nowhere” gets the record off to a hammering start, with guitars wailing, the bass chugging hard, and Mongeon and Bourgon trading off lines, hers more a diabolical shriek while his are guttural death grunts. It makes for a good pairing. “Shadows Collide” just goes off, with punishing guitar work, the tempo rising and falling, and the song re-erupting later, threatening to tear off faces. “The Path of Most Resistance” has a bit of groove to the guitars, with the dual vocals providing menace, and later things get scuffed up and murky. Doom sentiments arrive and color the rest of the track in morbidity. The dual “La Mort” cuts are up next, with the first simmering in filthy riffs and noise pollution, with Mongeon howling into a haze of classic metal guitars. The second part explodes, with the band raging forward and the singing feeling monstrous. Noise squeals out of the end, and that bleeds right into “Prey” and its heavy rumble. The song is pure demolition, with cool lead work bursting through, the drums being crushed, and the vocals showing zero relent.
“Storm of Silence” has melody situated behind the tumult, with both Mongeon and Bourgon wailing hard, while the band lets more atmosphere into the room than usual. It’s the first hint to things changing on the second part of the album. “Solitude” delivers darker guitars and a doomy feel, but the playing also is a little weirder and spacey, while still managing to scrape and crush what’s in its way. “False Hope” runs 5:47 and has drowned-out drums leading into the body, with speedy riffs emerging. The track crashes and burns, feeling like it’s going to throttle you from start to finish, but then things change. The tempo gets dirtier, the guitars get muddier, and the final minute or so is more reflective and echoey. That sets up “Circle,” the 7:55-long oddball of the bunch. The first section is eerie and spooky, with distant singing coloring the background. Keys trickle in, strings sweep out, and the bottom drops into a doomy mauler. The cries sound pained and damaged, letting you feel a little terrified for a stretch, and the remainder of the song floats like a ghost setting off to eternal damnation. Closer “Nothing Changes” gets a little heavier again, with gang shouts ripping out, and later the guitars going to thrashy and damaging. That goes on for about half the run time before shadowy clouds return and block out the light for a stretch, then the song completely transforms with guitars stabbing, blood pouring forth like a deluge, and swirling melodies tying everything up and ending the journey.
It’s great after all of these years to hear Fuck the Facts still challenging boundaries and making art that’s vital and heartfelt. “Desire Will Rot” is their most interesting album on their sturdy resume, a collection that refuses to compromise or stay in one place very long. It’s inspired, heavy, and all the proof you need that FTF are one of grindcore’s most versatile, fiery bands.
For more on the band, go here: http://www.fuckthefacts.com/
To buy the album, go here: http://www.fuckthefacts.com/#!shop/c1ypz