Review: Factor Fiction

I've had a good listen to the new Factor Fiction album Things I Draw Come True these past few days having interviewed them for blogTO last week.

It's got some great songs on it and does a good job of showcasing the musicianship of each of the band members. I do have a few qualms with it though being the difficult guy that I am...

First the good stuff. The group produced this album themselves, renting a cottage and recording it over the space of 4 days. This gives the album a really warm, homely feel about it which really works well with the music.

More important though than any geeky facts about the production is the music itself. And there are some really excellent tracks on here. Left Handed Sue in particular is a really well crafted infectious pop song. The 2 tracks preceding it - Snakes and Ladders and Simon - are also really strong with beautiful harmonies and catchy melodies. These songs would hold their own against the worlds more established rock bands.

However, following these 3 great tracks I thought the album then got a bit too cheesy in places. Now I like cheese. I like cheese quite a bit in fact. But even I have my limits and I felt this album crossed them at times. Examples include the bizarre rapping on Madeline (I realise this is supposed to be "ironic" but there comes a point even in the world of irony...) and the rock skoooool guitar solo at the end of Mass-Communication Blues. I felt the occasional song - Spiralling Down being a good example - would slot nicely into an emotional episode of Dawson's Creek. And that's not a good thing.

I also think this album suffers from being too diverse. It goes from geeky ironic rock in a Weezer type vein, to serious ballads more akin to Jeff Buckley (on Rainy Nights), or to Ben Harper (on Blue Dress). As a result I thought the album became a bit disjointed. Lyrically it's like this as well; frontman Dave Ward goes from singing quirky ironic tongue in cheek lyrics to sincere heart wrenching tales about love. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for diversity; the artists I respect and love the most are diverse ones. But - and this is just me - I like individual albums to be recorded as a unit, to carry themes, and to have a common coherent style rather than simply being a group of songs.

That said though it is a good group of songs (bar the odd cheesy moment) from 4 talented musicians who prove here that they're also gifted song writers.

Things I Draw Come True is out now and can be ordered from HMV.

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