Chicago trio FACS have evolved very quickly in the span of their three year existence. Void Moments is their third and latest offering; a dark and claustrophobic album with rivulets of seismic beauty peeking through the din.
Formed in the wake of the dissolution of Disappears, guitarist Brian Case and drummer Noah Leger's project is the logical continuation of the trails blazed in their former outfit. Since their 2017 debut Negative Houses, the band have reworked, retooled and reshaped their sound, and with the addition of bassist Alianna Kalaba on 2018's Lifelike, their evolution has coalesced into something distinct. Gone is the bone-rattling minimalism of Negative Houses; Void Moments offers an abstraction of the melodic elements that crept into "Lifelike" and contorts them toward a new horizon.
Where Lifelike rang with a metallic, near-industrial racket, Void Moments cloaks the music behind a black velvet curtain of sonance, obfuscating the band's most direct set of songs to date. Boy kicks off with a lurch of vocals and Case's sinewy guitar-line guiding a stoic march. By the time Kalaba drops in with the bass, the track morphs into a milky swirl, leading into the chiming swirl of Teenage Hive's buzzing churn. Casual Indifference expertly fuses the band's rhythmic pulse with a somber dissolve of guitars, vocals and backwards-masked drums. Version closes out side one with lush surges of Case's shoegaze'd guitar and voice weaving around the rhythm section. Side two careens in with Leger's cavernous drums, with Kalaba and Case riding alongside. The album's final two tracks Lifelike and Dub Over cascade into one another, becoming one & act as a perfect analogy to Void Moments mutability, both musically and lyrically. Despite its foggy presence, Void Moments still careens toward the light. By embracing fluidity, FACS continue to evolve and refuse to be ensnared by genre. Void Moments ruminates on humanity's increasing refusal of identity, not only by our increasing reliance on technology, but also within our society's challenging of societal and gender norms. Void Moments feels one step closer to oblivion, but its sounds are a welcome salve.
For fans of This Heat, Explosions In the Sky, Suuns, Girls vs. Boys, My Bloody Valentine, Preoccupations, PIL