Album Review: Factory Floor – ‘Untitled’ (Blast First Petite)

Not an easy listen, maybe, but this four-track noisecore epic is all the more rewarding for it

Three solemn shapes loom in the distance. Three unblinking statues, stern and merciless, who create a terrifying racket that simultaneously frazzles the nerves and slackens the bowels. For want of an easy moniker, you’d label it post industrial, but it moves beyond that; this is post-apocalyptic, the soundtrack of an underworld disco.

But even if Factory Floor revel in producing noise at its most primitive – an incessant drone of keyboards wired through twisted-metal synthesizers and thundering drums summoned from the heavens – ‘Untitled’ is not just a hollow shell of ferocious sound. Featuring just four tracks (and a DVD, Solid Sound, a film and soundtrack made by the band, whose Rorschach-style shifting shapes aptly fits their desolate sonic landscape) that span over 40 minutes, at its core is a bleakness that serves as the final point of a dystopian triangle begun earlier this year by These New Puritans‘Hidden’ and Liars‘Sisterworld’. There’s a palpable sense of nihilism throughout, evidenced by the harsh, grating lines of ‘16-2-16-9 20-1-14-9-7’, which stretch out over 10 taut minutes. ‘A Wooden Box’, meanwhile, is an intersection of relentlessly marching keyboards and metallic clanging, over which Dom Butler repeats: “We won’t need a gold chain/We just want a wooden box/Dig a hole in the ground/ Throw us in and let us rot”.

Fight through the gloom, though, and you discover what makes Factory Floor truly special. Unlike the discordant shrieking of lesser noise bands, there’s a driving pulse thundering away throughout ‘Untitled’, compelling the listener’s limbs into motion. ‘Lyin’’ is built around a hammering metronomic beat that never ceases, providing the perfect devilish backdrop for Nik Void’s haunting proclamation of “Four in a room/Five in a room”. Factory Floor never stop; they never clock off; their labour is neverending.

Ben Hewitt

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Click here to get your copy of Factory Floors’ ‘Untitled’ from the Rough Trade shop