An Unexpected Groove
Give a listen and heed the commands of opening track “Turn It Up Again” and you’ll be quite surprised by the new sounds of Factory Floor. All the noise-heavy smaller EPs and scant singles did nothing but skew expectations for a debut LP that breaks almost three years of recorded silence. Where Talking on Cliffs bowled you over with lo-fi swirls and droning percussion, there’s something oddly polished about Factory Floor’s full album that makes you do an auditory double-take. Lengthy tracks make up a majority of the album, though three numbered tracks distract from the six or more minutes of jams in an attempt to bridge songs together.
Factory Floor’s sound and aesthetic have always been distant and cool, and the deliberate choice in incidental tracks somewhat hijacks the listener’s DJ abilities for the sake of a completed album, to the point that the band may not even care if that’s what you wanted or not. Clocking in at around four and a half minutes total, “One,” “Two” and “Three” add very little to the experience whether you’re giving the album a concentrated listen or leaving it as shuffled background music. Nestled between “One” and “Two,” “Fall Back” loses a bit of its laser-precise punchiness, though the hefty seven minute track seems to have exhausted itself by the five minute mark anyway.
Nonetheless, what Factory Floor have crafted is the type of dance record you’d hear echoing from the tops of penthouses to the murky gutters and basements below. The album is definitely far-reaching with ladders of glitch and flat vocals that sound less verbose and more like accompanying sounds. “Work Out” stands as the strongest track of the album, a meandering dance number tinged with hand-clap percussion and synth straight out of an ’80s exercise video. The throwback sounds are nothing revolutionary but they’re damn fun nonetheless. Factory Floor leaves listeners in a haze that harkens back to the band’s noisier formative years. Their sophomore album may seek to bridge the two, though one can never be certain when reinvention and restructuring is as intrinsic to Factory Floor as the very act of playing music.