Double Play: F*ck The Facts & Rwake

  Two brutal reviews for the price of none!  

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson


F*ck The Facts

Die Miserable

Relapse Records


You take the death, you take the grind, you take ‘em both and there you find F*ck The Facts, oh it’s F*ck The Facts.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. For over a decade now F*ck The Facts have been assaulting the waves with their thunderous all out fistfight level of grindcore. I know the term “grindcore” is used a lot in heavy music and, like the terms “talent” and “groundbreaking”; it’s usually used incorrectly. At some point, somewhere, grindcore became this weird facsimile of itself that got stuck in the purgatory between death metal and metalcore. Few bands truly understand what grindcore is and how it uses down-tuned guitars, blast beats and other elements of extreme music to create a post-apocalyptic ballet of violence and insanity. F*ck The Facts understand grindcore and their new beast Die Miserable reflects that knowledge.

Let’s get past the name. Yes, at first it sounds stupid but it did come from a John Zorn Naked City album so there is that. As far as the album goes, it’s really good grindcore, exceptional really, but it is grindcore. If you don’t like incredibly fast music that sacrifices dynamics for intensity and drive, then this might not be the record for you. Even as a staunch lover of metal, there is no groove here really, nothing to bang your head to. F*ck The Facts are creating a blueprint for the ugliness of the world. Die Miserable is a steam valve for the poisons we all share that vomit them back out at us in a direct and unceremonious way.

“Drift” opens the album with an audio machine gun blast. The tense build up of the low hum that intros' the song gets the nerves rattling until, yes, yes, that visceral first blast of energy is released. It’s like an auditory orgasm, not because it feels so good but because it releases the tension that quickly. What makes Die Miserable work as is that it’s relentless. Even when the album takes a minute to let notes ring out or the chords back off for a second to allow the guitars to walk about, the album refuses to let up. Everything here is attack and that’s the beauty of it.

Think of what it takes to make an album interesting when you can’t fall back on anything at all. F*ck The Facts are constantly driving forward, obliterating whatever semblance of musical structure you might expect. Songs rattle for a second as if a teetering on the very edge of something slower or moodier but it doesn’t come, instead F*ck The Facts plummet head first into the rushing ground, screaming “F*CK YES’ the whole time.

Disseminating the actual songs on Die Miserable is akin to trying to figure out a shark attack. It doesn’t matter what happened individually, the end result is all anybody will remember. This is a monolith made of steel with no brakes rocketing towards a concrete wall covered in C4. I can say that the vocals from Melanie Mongeon are the soul of everything that F*ck The Facts do. Her higher pitch screech is unique; it sets her apart from the current crop of female fronted extreme metal bands out there. This isn’t the cute girl (though she is) that’s bucking convention by fronting a metal band. Melanie is the girl that will kick the shit out of you for even saying that. She wraps up the music Fuck The Facts make into a chokehold with barbed wire and squeezes. Die Miserable shines a light on the world of grindcore and forces the acts not up to par to scatter like roaches.


Rwake review on Page 2!





Relapse Records


Rising from the southern hemisphere, Rwake move like evolution. Kicking around in the underground scene for years, the band releases music slowly and, much like evolution, when they’re done something grand and impressive stands before you. In the vein of slow and epic Rwake offer up Rest, their newest studio offering and first original release on Relapse Records. Like the band, Rest is a slow burn, like having your flesh charred by a red-hot poker being dragged across you. This is a savage record, a brutal album that doesn’t speed through to a fast end. Rather Rwake takes great pride in stretching things out no matter how uncomfortable it might become.

Restbegins unexpectedly with an acoustic instrumental that straddles the line between bizarre swamp theme and old school desert country soliloquy. At first I thought Rwake had gone soft, or had decided to shock everybody by putting out what fans would least expect. Then, like a bulldozer, the first note of “It’s Beautiful, Now It’s Sour” rings out and Rwake unleash the full hell of what they can do. Outside of a great title, “It’s Beautiful, Now It’s Sour” is an amalgam of what Rwake have released before.

The riff is slow but not plodding, it oozes out and engulfs the other instruments. The rhythm section sound like they’re fighting against the guitars, trying to break through the ooze with a powerful groove. The song isn’t disjointed, it just sounds like a battle for dominance. Holding down the fight are the vocals, which come across like a demon being flayed alive. At twelve minutes long “It’s Beautiful Now It’s Sour” sets the stage for the rest of the album. This is a solid block of music, something that locks in place with the other songs to create an artistic statement.

Restcontinues on through its discourse, varying at times in speed and rage. Some parts are melancholy, like the first minute of “The Culling” but the rage always bursts through. Rwake focus the anger for effect but usually allow it to just spray randomly, like a pissed of shooter in room full of enemies. It’s chaos, but controlled, there is real songwriting going on beneath the screeching guitars and pummeling drums. That’s what sets Rwake apart from other bands that labor under the delusion that a sludge band is just playing slow. Rest has interesting structures, great interplay between the instruments, but it's all just under the surface of a mud curtain tied at the ends with white unfiltered anger. To use a TV metaphor, I think of Rwake’s brand of sludge as the blue crystal meth that Mr. White makes on Breaking Bad. It may seem like all the rest, but because of how it’s constructed the impact is head and shoulders above the competition.