Ottawa's Fuck The Facts are the first Canadian band to land on this year's list with their latest, Die Miserable (Relapse). Some bands have a live show that tends to be more intense than their recorded material. Not so in this case. I saw FTF play a living room show a few years ago (Yes, the same venue as the Toxic Holocaust show) and "intense" isn't an adequate word for describing the performance and atmosphere. It was almost frightening. On Die Miserable, the band manages to channel that intensity into album form. Describing the album isn't as easy as calling it grindcore, as FTF are generally categorized. It goes beyond anything that simple and straightforward. The seemingly erratic stops and starts and shifts fall together perfectly. The vision necessary to conceptualize the album and the ability to pull it off is a true testament to the talent found in Fuck The Facts. There is no room for weakness. It is also the most consistently heavy FTF album I've heard. Last year, I added a Standout Track to each of my blurbs for AOTY. I decided to forgo that this year mainly because I am an "album guy". But on Die Miserable, "Census Blank" stood out to me as the centrepiece of my listening experience of the album. With just over two minutes left in the track (It's over 7 minutes long. That's not grindcore length!) this monumental riff kicks in with another (tapped?) guitar part flickering around it. It's like Godzilla stomping through the city with a dozen mini-Mothras flapping around his head. I have to stop whatever I am doing and listen. I can't concentrate on anything else til the song is over. Those two minutes alone are enough to land the album on this list.
Fuck The Facts return to Kingston in late January. I can feel the intensity across space-time already.