If “Skylarking” doesn’t just hypnotize the fuck out of you during the onset of Negative Houses by FACS then congratulations, you have just discovered that you have some incurable disease that prevents you from enjoying music. And possibly life. Go see a doctor NOW!
But I digress.
Seriously, though, “Skylarking is a pretty spectacular opener from the Chicago trio who rose from the ashes of Disappears with a similar mindset but wholly different results. Dark, brooding, and moody are easy adjectives to throw around Negative Houses and the overall sound of FACS especially when listening to the aforementioned track or the bass-heavy “Silencing” that follows.
From there, any expectations you might have should be left at the proverbial door because the burgeoning hum of “Houses Breathing” is around the corner and it’s a game changing beast. Never mind the hissing/heavy breathing that concludes the eight and a half minute monster being downright eerie, but before that is a detour in sonic experimentation split apart by Nick Mazzarella’s intense sax work bringing to mind the fictional Fred Madison from Lost Highway and other sounds emanating from a Lynch-ian nightmare.
That track meanders into the groove-heavy but no less sinister vibe of “Just A Mirror” with just a hint of “slightly jarring” to top it off. Later on, “Exit Like You” stands as a stark contrast next to the subtle intricacies of “Primary”, almost like an ’80’s classic akin to one of INXS or Duran Duran’s most familiar singles before settling into this fuzzed out post-punk beauty. “All Futures” is up next and closes out the album, whipping everything into a frenzied fervor before peacing out into some dark alleyway.