Lifelike is the second album by Chicago trio FACS. Available here on limited edition light blue vinyl, standard black vinyl, and CD.
Lifelike occupies a space in between the band's debut and Case and Leger's work with Disappears, applying minimalism and space in compositions that reside somewhere near the realms of post-punk, art-rock, shoegaze, industrial music and post-rock. Lifelike however adds a more melodic sensibility, without sacrificing any of the debut's punishing sonic muscle, with a discernible audial force perceivable through the speakers (credit due to engineer Jeremy Lemos' recording via Electrical Audio as well as John Congleton's mixing, and Jason Ward of Chicago Mastering Service for accurately capturing the punishing heft of the band's live sound).
Kicking off with the lumbering "Another Country," whose opening drone lulls the listener into a trance before Leger's drums crack the earth below. The band veers close to This Heat territory here, with Kalaba's minimal bass throb and Case's nearly unrecognizable guitar loops and multi-tracked voice punctuating the spaces between. Album standout "In Time" careens with purpose with cascading sheets of guitar noise over the rhythm sections ever-advancing march, while "XUXA"'s melodic washes of monochrome eases the tension ever so slightly. Side two awaits, with the anxiety-ridden opener "Anti-Body" and the claustrophobic "Loom State"'s clanging aura of menace. Lifelike closes with "Total History," whose syrupy shuffle belies the blunt-force trauma of its closing minutes, with the sheer weight of sonic force seeming to blow out the speakers it emanates from. A phoenix returning to the ashes from whence it came.
LP+ - Light Blue Colored LP
LP - Standard Black LP
CD - Standard CD