Factories' debut album a creative, collective success

Pitchforks: 4.5/5

Record Label: Unsigned

Generally, bands do not begin an album with their best track because of the logical fear that the listener may be disappointed upon hearing the rest in comparison. This is especially unorthodox for a debut album.

Yet, Factories’ new album is tragically romantic, a theme that buttresses the freshman offering. The risk of it is dressed resplendently in the jagged guitar riffs, swinging pianos, despairing lyricism and youthful vocals that transfix the listener in a pulsating spin throughout the album.

The band consists of three members: lead singer-songwriter and guitarist Bryan Marscovetra, pianist and vocalist Audra Marscovetra and pianist, guitarist, vocalist and beat mixer Mike Duffy.

Duffy is an architect, and the intricate beats he pre-records mirror the dynamic and strict sense of design and undergirding structure.

Fittingly, then, their album is titled “Together,” as they all at one point or another sing on the sonic whirlwind of their debut.

The Marscovetras tackle most of the vocals throughout the album. Bryan’s voice has a nasal quality to it that eerily captures the quirky spirit of Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie. Audra sounds similar to Arcade Fire’s female singer Régine Chassagne, giving a dynamic chemistry that’s especially evident on the light and floating track “Hey Kid.”

The collision of sound produced by the band mirrors the Nintendo-innocence of The Postal Service at its most playful and the tragedy of Belle and Sebastian’s mournful spirit.

As Duffy explained, “We like juxtapositions.”

This is exactly what the album “Together” is: one giant combination that works exceedingly well.

The beefy opening track “Canada” provides a hypnotic and repetitive beat, gang vocals, a sharp, aggressive guitar and swaying piano pieces that transport the listener into another place and time — as if stepping through Alice’s rabbit hole and ending up in Dorothy’s Oz.

This dimension is especially exemplified in the following lines: “Cars go by, faceless people pass/ No one seems to care who we are/ But here we are/ On a plane over Canada/ On a plane over Canada.”

The eerily shrill piano produces a sense of disorientation that harmonizes with the lyrics.

The exceedingly dark lyrics and the innocence of the voices produce a strange yet, pleasing duality. It’s a weird sensation because the catchy beats and animated choruses make you want to dance, but the music is so tightly fabricated there is almost no room or space to do so. In this way, it can be a challenging listen.

Bryan, a former English literature student, showcases dreamy lyrics, bringing an ambiguous element to the work.

In explaining his writing process and inspiration, Bryan described, “As far as writing inspiration, I love poetry, so Dylan Thomas, Seamus Heaney, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and Vicente Huidobro are favorites of mine … Huidobro has an awesome gift of stream of consciousness. Normally that’s where it starts, and then you employ some structure to get the song to be what you want.

“I'm inspired by their gifts and how they can communicate ideas, how oftentimes it's about more than what is on the page,” he said.

The song that highlights his poetic talent is “Together,” which is a fading, relatively soft song where Bryan and Audra harmonize the catchy chorus, “We’re all in this together/ We are.”

Bryan penned the lines “Drunk on feeling we’re needed/ And thinking we were defeated/ But sometimes to die just means to be reborn.”

Overall, the album is a dynamic force of powerful sound that blasts its way through the 10 tracks, leaving the listener feeling a bit struck.

“We tried to make a bit of a loud record with some dirt on it,” Duffy said.

“It's a bit of a challenge to not sound too polished when you've got a robot doing all the drumming.”

In this way, Factories succeeded. It’s a dirty, yet sensitive offering with poetic paradoxes and romanticism that together make this album a creative anomaly for being borderline pop.

Reach the reporter at dgburns@asu.edu

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