FACT – Witness


As someone who’s constantly critiquing music, it becomes quite tiresome having to lump every damn band into a specific genre category; let alone their various sub-genres. I mean does it really matter whether it’s rock-n-roll, doom metal or even dream pop? Essentially, only one thing should really matter. Is it enjoyable to listen to?

I introduce you to exhibit A, a Japanese band by the name of FACT that mixes too many musical influences to count on one hand. And yes, their music often makes for a good time behind your headphones. To say they are an interesting band would be a bit of an understatement. Describing their music, however, is even more perplexing. The band’s hefty array of influences ranging from pop-punk to metal allow them to stand out from the pack. They’ve also been known to wear traditional Japanese masks to conceal their identity, but in recent years they’ve all shown their faces. I’ll admit when I stumbled across the band while surfing the net I was sold almost instantly. Something just drew me to them; whether it was the slick artwork of their album or their band name all in caps, I’m not entirely sure.

Although inconsistent, FACT’s newest effort “Witness” is a pretty damn fun and varied listening experience. Hardcore influences are around lurking around every corner with electronic flourishes thrown in sporadically. The first two tracks ‘New Element’ and ‘Drag’ start things off with a bang as they mix pop influenced vocals with some unexpectedly intimidating screams. Other songs like the title track are just plain catchy as hell, and definitely give off a Sum 41 vibe with their sky-high energy levels and similar vocal melodies. Unfortunately there are some real duds as well such as ‘Ape’ which houses the most annoying chorus on the album and ‘2-1′ just comes across as unnecessary with its overdone electronics and random screaming. Thankfully most of these weaker moments are easily overlooked when you hear a song as catchy as ‘Miles Away’ or as aggressive as ‘Devil’s Work’.

There’s really not much else to say about “Witness.” It’s just one of those amusing albums you jam at work to help pass the time. It’s not without its flaws, but the majority of the tracks will have you either banging your head or simply forgetting how tedious life can be; even if it’s just for a moment.

SCORE: 3.25/5