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Album Review

Fact - In the Blink of an Eye

Reviewed by
7.9
FACT - In the Blink of an Eye
Release Date: January 13th, 2010
Label: Vagrant Records
Last year, Japanese post-(whatever) band FACT made a somewhat decent dent on the current underground scene. Their video for "A Fact of Life" featured an extremely catchy single with the boys in the band wearing traditional Japanese masks. The band said they wore the masks so people "wouldn't think about their looks and listen to their music". I was skeptical of the masks in general, mostly in part that replacing the concept of vanity with a gimmick seems like backpedaling. Fuck it, they have a catchy song so I bought the record. It was a large list of little ideas thrown onto a sixteen track album, feeling like a bit of a mess. Granted, it was a catchy mess, and you could obviously tell how much potential the band had and how much they had to learn.

Imagine my excitement when the "masks came off", still hiding their faces in shadow (of course, if you even halfassedly look you can see them ). I heard "Slip of the Lip" and immediately got excited for a new record. The concept of maybe them being more inspired to make a more cohesive record (especially after a rather brutal review that was printed in Altpress) was an interesting one at that. After getting the record and upon first listen, let me say that their potential is getting a little more realized. Upon the first listen, you find that the album is much shorter. This for Fact, is a great thing, because pace was their enemy on the previous album. It's by no means a perfect pace, but 33:52 run time is a good start.

In the Blink of an Eye kicks off with the title track, which puts you right into their reliable brand of rock/punk. The familiar comforts of the ridiculous musicianship and sense of dynamics are here. That being said, the familiar dregs of the relative broken English and "ugh" level lyrics are strewn about this record, as well. My first big groan about this record is the fact (oh SNAP) that the lyrics, when properly deciphered, are pretty awful. There was even a moment or two when I laughed out loud ("Siiilent niiight/Viiiiiolent Niiight" GAH, seriously!?). My other beef with the vocals are how ridiculously autotuned a lot of them are. For example, the second half of the bridge in "Slip of the Lip" with the high notes are borderline Cedric Bixler-Zavala. While the part would have felt great for the song, it ends up feeling extremely artificial and kind of kills it. Do not even get me started on the awful, awful T-Pain autotune in "Behind a Smile". It makes me want to roll up a newspaper and swat them on the noses with it for doing that. When the band uses autotune they should at least use it tastefully or just do without, like they've done before. The screaming for the most part is good, and the gang shouts are welcome, if only for the fact (did we just do it again? Yes.) that it's the rare time where you can understand the broken English they're working with.

Now that we've got the bad, ugly parts out of the way, let's get into the meat of this bad boy. The musicianship is well, unreal. This band can make metallic hardcore catchy ("This is the End", "Part of it All"), and it's part of their strong side, all while throwing in rather brutal bits (the breakdown for example, in "Silent Night"). Even when the band slows it down a bit, it still sounds tight and urgent, making you wish certain songs were longer. Now when the band hits their pop stride on a track like "Slip of the Lip", you can tell where the band's crossover potential lies. This may be pretty much a "A Fact of Life" clone, but most pop/punk songs are clones anyways. Perhaps what sets them apart is how many guitar and drum parts they stuff into their songs. A track like "Dec 2" could have easily been a throwaway track if it weren't for the technical guitar parts in the chorus. The band knows what their strong foot is and they make it their priority to put it forward, sucking you in.

And even with all the angular guitar parts and wicked drum fills, nothing feels lost or mixed out. Elvis Baskette's production is spot on with this record (aside from the wicked autotune). The guitar tones are thick and crunchy on the chords ("Risk of Disorder"), sharp on the technical leads ("Sunset"), and downright gorgeous on the various effects littered about the album. The drums are punchy and strong, without the kick drum overtaking the track like most heavy bands would do if they had a stellar drummer. This is definitely a headphone record for you guitar and drum dweebs out there.

Bottom line? This album is straight up better than the Self Titled. It is more cohesive, and isn't strung together with a bunch of pretty sounding afterthoughts. Every song feels realized and full, and with its brisk pace, this album will be due for multiple listens. Keep in mind, the broken English might be a dealbreaker for you. But for those of you who desire a catchy sound in general, you will be rewarded In the Blink of an Eye (OH SHIT I WAS SAVING THAT ONE FOR THE END).

Key Tracks: "This is the End", "Slip of the Lip", "Sunset"

Tracklist1. In the Blink of an Eye
2. This is the end
3. Slip of the Lip
4. Silent Night
5. Dec 2
6. Part of It All
7. 1-3
8. Behind a Smile
9. Fade
10. Risk of Disorder
11. Goodbye to Good Morning
12. Sunset


Recommended If You LikeWilliam Hung, if he was less doughy and disgraceful and more metal and awesome, if you like to air guitar you're going to have a long night, if you like to air drum your arms are going to fall off


www.myspace.com/factjapan
This review is a user submitted review from RyanFTW. You can see all of RyanFTW's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12
07:55 AM on 01/22/10
#2
Yellowcard2006
I'll buy you a raincoat
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Good review. I'll be checking this album out.
12:27 PM on 01/22/10
#3
barkingincision
i am white rune
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i always found the broken english to simply add a unique tonality to the vocals. it doesnt really deter me from the music, and its not like he's talking to you and you're desperately trying to figure out what he's saying. i just don't find it a bad thing.
01:10 PM on 01/22/10
#4
RyanFTW
ATTACK POP PUNK
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i always found the broken english to simply add a unique tonality to the vocals. it doesnt really deter me from the music, and its not like he's talking to you and you're desperately trying to figure out what he's saying. i just don't find it a bad thing.
Well, I played FACT's previous album for some friends and asked them what they thought of it. Most of my friends listen to mainstream music (crossfade, *GAG) and they said within the first two songs "Why is he singing all weird?". Out of the 8 people I had listen to it 6 of them said something along those lines after the first few songs.

I personally don't have a huge problem with the way they sing it. I tried to take it from a reviewer standpoint.
01:26 PM on 01/22/10
#5
barkingincision
i am white rune
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Well, I played FACT's previous album for some friends and asked them what they thought of it. Most of my friends listen to mainstream music (crossfade, *GAG) and they said within the first two songs "Why is he singing all weird?". Out of the 8 people I had listen to it 6 of them said something along those lines after the first few songs.

I personally don't have a huge problem with the way they sing it. I tried to take it from a reviewer standpoint.
its all good. i just find it to be another integral element of the band's sound, it's almost naive in a way. as for the lyrics, i found certain songs off the s/t to be pretty cool and positive. 'Rise' has some of the most concise yet uplifting lyrics i've heard this year.
01:31 PM on 01/22/10
#6
RyanFTW
ATTACK POP PUNK
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its all good. i just find it to be another integral element of the band's sound, it's almost naive in a way. as for the lyrics, i found certain songs off the s/t to be pretty cool and positive. 'Rise' has some of the most concise yet uplifting lyrics i've heard this year.
I think this is their best album so far, but I think they could make something truly great once they nail the vocals/lyrics down completely. Granted, a lot of people aren't going to listen to this album so they may not get the opportunity.
05:25 PM on 01/22/10
#7
adrianhughes
Curtin Alumni
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Agree here, and I think that the vocals add to their sound. After a few listens, thought that it was better than their self-titled, even though I think Sunset is really out of place as the album's closer. But it has some strong points like Silent Night and Dec 2. Melodic vocals at the end of some of the songs such as Dec 2 and Part Of It All, really got me hooked. Same with the the gang vocals in Risk Of Disorder. As you said RyanFTW, most people won't even give it a chance based on the initial hearing of his voice. A pity really, because this album isn't being released in America by Vagrant :(. They have a lot of potential.
05:34 PM on 01/22/10
#8
RyanFTW
ATTACK POP PUNK
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Agree here, and I think that the vocals add to their sound. After a few listens, thought that it was better than their self-titled, even though I think Sunset is really out of place as the album's closer. But it has some strong points like Silent Night and Dec 2. Melodic vocals at the end of some of the songs such as Dec 2 and Part Of It All, really got me hooked. Same with the the gang vocals in Risk Of Disorder. As you said RyanFTW, most people won't even give it a chance based on the initial hearing of his voice. A pity really, because this album isn't being released in America by Vagrant :(. They have a lot of potential.
This album is not being released in America?! FUCK! That's a shame because this album sounds great. Maybe I can whip up something for people...
09:59 PM on 01/22/10
#9
Roton7
so i herd u liek roton7??
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*crosses fingers for this to at least get on iTunes*
02:37 AM on 01/23/10
adrianhughes
Curtin Alumni
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Yeap, read the news here: http://taintedworld.net/forum/viewto...p?f=44&t=18645

Shame it won't be, should whip up a giant petition.
12:28 PM on 01/25/10
stellarbus2
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Its Great!! Fucking Great
05:31 PM on 01/25/10
adrianhughes
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Hey guys, just saw this video of them at SummerSonic 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwlUqQGR0qQ . Looks like pretty good filming, however I Googled and could not find any other videos from the same broadcast or anything. Would like to see if there are any more Fact songs of the same broadcast that can be downloaded.

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