The new Facs album, Void Moments, shows the Chicago trio at their apex | Music Review | Chicago Reader

The new Facs album, Void Moments, shows the Chicago trio at their apex 

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click to enlarge Facs


Zoran Orlic

The Facs formula has always been stark minimalism. On their first two albums, the Chicago trio—currently drummer Noah Leger, guitarist-singer Brian Case, and bassist Alianna Kalaba—built every track on tense rhythms, simple bass throbs, barely-there guitar plinking, and direct spoken-word vocals. It was like they were casting moods more than writing songs. The formula worked to great effect, both live and on record: their music was spooky, hard-hitting, and efficient, with no note or tone ever falling out of place. Still, in the back of my mind, I found myself wanting more—perhaps due to my obsession with Case and Leger’s previous band, the four-piece Disappears, who created mesmerizing layers of textures and evil energies. But on the brand-new Facs full-length, Void Moments (Trouble in Mind), anything I felt like the band might’ve been missing suddenly appears. The album is an absolute masterwork of experimental postpunk. Facs work up an incredible ruckus, piling on alien sounds, razor-sharp bass parts, and almost catchy vocals. A highlight for me is Leger’s performance: I’ve already used a lot of Reader ink to praise his work over the years, but on Void Moments he’s an unstoppable force. His drums act as the band’s lead instrument, and he plays with off-the-leash energy, hammering out bizzare beats and dazzling fills with staggering precision and power. Void Moments isn’t just Facs hitting their stride—it’s an impressive peak from an excellent band.   v

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