Since the last full-length Die Miserable was released in 2011, Fuck the Facts has been anything but idle. The band subsequently released three EPs and two LPs (the latter under their guitar-based dark ambient alias, Merdarahta) and, in the past year alone, guitarist Topon Das issued eight solo recordings (five splits, two live albums, and a collaborative project with Bubba Crumrine), launched a record label (Noise Salvation), and recorded, mixed, and/or mastered albums for countless other acts at his Ottawa Apartment 2 recording studio; yet this prodigious output is only a token example of the acute focus and frenetic energy that characterizes the band’s latest full-length, Desire Will Rot.
Like its predecessors, the density of auditory information compressed into this album requires several repeat listens to process fully (fortunately one of its best selling points is a remarkably low price, especially for digital (and kudos to the band for its continued support of Bandcamp) – which should encourage even the most casual listener to defer their streaming habit long enough to become a paying supporter.) The cohesive arrangement of individual elements and influences, coupled with nuances of production ostensibly unique to Apartment 2, demonstrate an almost linguistic quality which gives the listener the impression of hearing a fully-developed musical language that, although one doesn’t necessarily need to be a guitarist to understand, it wouldn’t hurt to have some familarity with music theory, either. Few guitarists in extreme music today are so immersed in songwriting as Das – the only example that readily comes to mind is Shane Embury (Napalm Death, Venomous Concept) – and arguably the autonomy and independence of several years spent completely untethered from record labels has not only bolstered the band’s confidence to write for themselves first, but also swelled the ranks of their fanbase, whose unwavering support drove the new album to the top of domestic campus and community radio charts for the week prior to its release.
An appreciating ear for tone and texture is evident not only in riffage and overall production value but also through the delicate layers of noise and feedback evident on certain tracks, particularly penultimate number “Circle” (which could have closed out the album but instead serves as a simmering interlude before the crushing weight of “Nothing Changes”). Drawing on textures more familiar to followers of Das’ experimental solo work and dark ambient project Merdarahta, “Circle” relies on distorted feedback, effects, and synths/strings for its alternating hollow and thunderous resonances, and combines sonorous cello with guttural bass beneath a chilled mesh of scree before slipping away on a delicate, melancholy piano outro to make way for the final track.
Excluding the two preceding EP releases Abandoned and Amer, both of which were distinctive for some brighter, even anthemic passages, Desire Will Rot may be the record that fans of previous LPs Disgorge Mexico and Die Miserable would have expected: a straightforward, relentless grindcore pummeling in “bastardized” FTF style. One has the impression this record was written for maximum auditory carnage, as the perpetual stylistic and tempo contortions, accompanied by alternating vocal deliveries, are overall a heavier brand of brutal than was evident on the EPs.
Everything Fuck the Facts records is a love letter to the extremities of music and noise, so it seems ironic that the new release should be titled Desire Will Rot when its it 38+ minutes of auditory brutality pummels the listener and leaves one wanting more.
(And, for our local readers, prepare to have your fill at Vancouver’s Hindenburg on September 12th – see tour poster below.)