FACT
Fact


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
July 10th, 2009 | 105 replies | 15,040 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Wow.

It's hardly a secret that most bands on the planet react with a mixture of despair and disgust when you push the music they make under headings and labels and genres, but it's clearly necessary to some extent to allow comparisons and easier access to similar artists and records. There is, however, one way of ensuring you're never categorised successfully and consistently, and it's an art that Japanese outfit FACT seem to have perfected. Here they exist under the 'rock' moniker, and it's difficult to argue with that assertion, but they could just as easily sneak under metal, sit pretty under punk, snatch a sub-genre of pop or be called alternative. They're probably not a hip-hop group...yet.

It is, however, not beyond the realms of possibility when you get five tracks into their self-titled debut that a guest appearance from Kanye West might show up in any one of the eclectic instrumental sections. Playing a kind of post-hardcore with metalcore and thrash influence, they successfully and frequently incorporate electronic aesthetics, pop melodies and huge choruses as a part of their core sound. The result is huge; though the songs are rarely more than 3 minutes long, they come out euphoric, anthemic, and at a blistering pace. The vocals are almost all delivered in English, and only at one point (45days) does it become apparent that it's not the band's native language; on Stretch My Arms, Takahiro pulls off his best pop-punk impression. Elsewhere, there are aggressive growls, emo-derived screams, vocoder-tinged hooks...and that's just the vocals.

The influences that shape FACT are at once blatant and seamless; every song seems to fuse a combination of insanely impressive guitar, tight and ferocious drumming, and some kind of quirk or nuance which, instead of sticking out like a sore thumb, attaches itself to every section of the track's structure in a catsuit-like manner. There's perhaps no better example of this than Why..., which harbours some fantastic drum fills, a stunning intro guitar line, acoustic guitars, and a haunting, growled interlude over crushing riffs. But, although it's not quite seamless, it doesn't play like that mash-up of different techniques I just listed. It's fun and diverse, but it's not some monstrous, mutated beast. It's a carefully- and well-worked hybrid. There are a few moments on FACT that do stand out as overly obvious statements of direction: the 25-second thrashfest that is Chain, for example, or the surprising (but still brilliantly-executed) dance-pop-rock that is 1-2. But these moments are few and far between when placed alongside the dynamic, carefree and breathless nature of the record as a whole.

For all its myriad leaps into seemingly distant genres and styles, though, FACT is at heart a pop album. As long as they're capable of getting past the occasional harsh vocal or tempo change, even the more adventurous mainstream radio listener would find more than half of this record incredibly endearing. Lead single A Fact Of Life puts Hellogoodbye to shame with its synth-pop opening, and the hooks through all 50 minutes are tirelessly dance-worthy and passionately youthful. Who cares what the hell this is? The truth is that I have no idea how to label it and I don't think I want to. It's quick, catchy, technically superb and packed full of energy, twists and turns. Whatever you call it, FACT are one of the most exciting and fresh bands I've heard in a long, long time. There's no re-treading of old ground, no apologetic conformity to a scene or genre and no lack of confidence across 50 minutes that span a range of genres you probably never thought you'd hear in the same place. Wherever your musical exploration usually takes you, I can guarantee that FACT's self-titled debut album is not a carbon-copy of anything you've heard before. That alone makes it worth your attention; the fact that it's this good should seal the deal a million times over.



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user ratings (130)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Hunter Ramirez (4.5)
pop punk, alternative, rock, thrash metal, and breakbeat fans! UNITE!...

Eli Kleman EMERITUS (4)
FACT have created a very interesting and incredibly varied album with their self titled debut....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
July 10th 2009



10194 Comments


Like, seriously brilliant.

marksellsuswallets
July 11th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

16 tracks good Lord...I heard one song off this and I thought it was pretty good but then I forgot about checking it out.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 11th 2009



10194 Comments


s'only 50 minutes long in total. the 16 tracks thing is seriously not a problem. the remix, the 'technical' last track, is 7 minutes, too.

Waior
July 11th 2009



11421 Comments


I was like "eh, I'll probably get this" and after reading this review I'm more "getthisnowgethisnowgetthisnow."

Nice summary.

marksellsuswallets
July 11th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I keep seeing Protest The Hero comparisons so that's promising I suppose...How exactly does that track give you feeling that
English isn't their first language though? Is there a noticeable, giggle-inducing mispronunciation/funny accent?

Knott-
Emeritus
July 11th 2009



10194 Comments


The only time it's obvious that they're not English is on 45days, which is a much slower song and so his accent becomes far more obvious and is a slight barrier to enjoying the vocals. The rest of the time he just sounds like an American.

XXXpickemgenius
July 11th 2009



139 Comments


These guys are so so so good.

I can't wait till they come by where i'm at.


nice review dude.




Calculate
July 11th 2009



1135 Comments


where in the world could i get a copy of this!?!?!

TheNewWhack
July 11th 2009



1472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

So glad to see you wrote a review for this Adam. I know we talked about it the other day. I've been so busy with other things, I wouldn't have had the chance to write a quality review. This covers all the bases perfectly. I hope more people get around to listening to this album.

TheNewWhack
July 11th 2009



1472 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

They're signed to Vagrant Records, Calculate. It should be available at Best Buys and Smartpunk.com. I'm sure you could pick up a copy at MySpace.com/FACTjapan if those don't work.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 11th 2009



10194 Comments


i found it somewhere, it can't be too hard.

bloc
July 11th 2009



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

FUCK YEAH MAN. Love this band so so so much. love the review bro.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

Knott-
Emeritus
July 11th 2009



10194 Comments


cheers man. so surprised that they haven't blown up huge yet. time will tell.

Waior
July 14th 2009



11421 Comments


Okay fine, putting this at the top of my list.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 14th 2009



10194 Comments


lol i just noticed a huge error in the penultimate line. album was never 15 minutes long. edit'd.

marksellsuswallets
July 20th 2009



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's grown on me a bit but it's still not that great. I just feel like if they would focus all the stuff that's going here into one cohesive sound, rather than having all of their different sounds separated amongst different songs, it would be a lot better.

Paradux
August 3rd 2009



29 Comments


I was waiting to see Coheed and Cambria at Sonisphere and it turns out they are stuck on a ferry and these guys were their replacement on the main stage!

I'm not sure I can get over the vocals though...

ThePalestMexican
August 16th 2009



2816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

FACT is One of The More "Promising" Bands from Japan, I Know A LOT of Good Bands are in Japan Right Now, but They Usually All Stick to That One Sound. FACT Has This Oringinal Sound, That Does Spread Across a Wide Area of Genres. And The Live Show...10/10

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2009



7165 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Have you heard Maximum the Hormone? Half of your review almost sounds like you were describing them. They are also from Japan and play crossover, but they sing in Japanese unlike these guys.

Digging: Floor - Oblation

Knott-
Emeritus
August 19th 2009



10194 Comments


Haven't, no, but I will check them out. I usually stay well away from Japan (not by any deliberate decision) and this sort of music in general (slightly more so.)



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