The parallels between the transformation of Joy Division into New Order (after the suicide of Ian Curtis) and the development of London-based trio Factory Floor from guitar-based noisemongers into techno punks is fascinating when you compare their early singles (from 2008 onwards) with their new album.
From what I gather, everybody loved their early, guitar-lead pieces, like Bipolar and You Were Always Wrong with their repetitive riffing and claustrophobic atmosphere. And then they started to attract attention from various techno bods with their transitional singles A Wooden Box and (R E A L L O V E). Now, listening to their début album, the contrast in musical styles is quite stark. In fact, played back-to-back, Here Again (from the album) and Bipolar are so radically different it could be two different groups you'e listening to.
So, with seven full length techno tracks (neatly bolted together with snippets of noise - one bolt in particular cleverly referencing their guitar days) Factory Floor have completed an extraordinary metamorphosis. It's out with murky and challenging and in with crisp and melodious. The production of these tracks is simply superb. And what's nice is, the repetitive element they've championed in their music since Bipolar has remained a key feature in their music.
Where the album falters somewhat though is in the vocals. The detached and slightly tuneless style of singing, which has worked well for some bands in the past, like Bowery Electric and Adult., becomes monotonous on some tracks, like Fall Back and Two Different Ways – the result of this is an unhappy marriage of wonderful, expanding techno and slightly irritating vocals.
6/10 after 10 listens