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Factory 81
Mankind

by Samuel Barker
October 20, 2000


File Under: Hardcore/Metal/Rap
rating: B
tracks

1. Nanu

2. Peace Officer

3. 14 Left

4. Rotten Strawberries

5. Belligerance

6. 3 O'clock Love Letter

7. Ephedrine

8. Diary Of A Serial Killer

9. Cheese Wheel

10. Sludge

11. Peace Officer (Black & Blue Mix)

related links
  • Factory 81
  • Mojo Records
  • Combining the sounds of bands such as Rage Against The Machine and Tool, Detroit's Factory 81 comes at you with their first full length on Mojo Records. The band does a great job of combining multiple influences and producing an all around strong release.

    The album is set up in a great way. Utilizing the power of CDs and the growing number of households with computers, the band added an "enhanced CD" section containing live performances and other information on the band. So despite getting a full album worth of music, you also get the chance to see the band in action. Another odd way the album is set up is the lyric sheets. Instead of just putting the lyrics down, most songs are explanations of the songs or poetry that inspired or was inspired by the song. It's a great touch to add some creativity to the album.

    The album starts with a sinister wah heavy intro which soon gives way to "Nanu". This song starts with a very Tool-like sound complimented well by lead vocalist, Nate Wallace's eeiry voice. The song does well jumping from the sinister to the more upbeat rap areas. This first song showcases Wallace's wide vocal range, and gives you a good idea of the band's influences. The next song, "Peace Officer", at first seems like just another "band singing about the cops" song, but upon reading the story about the song from the lyric sheet you learn that the song is about a case of the police abusing their power. This touch helped give this song a great deal of credit. By reading the story you could feel the anger Wallace felt while being held and harrassed by the cops.

    The album continues with "Rotten Strawberries" which sticks with more of the mellow tones of the album, and then kicks to a track like "3 O'Clock Love Song" which is fast and powerful. The rate of changes between the songs sounds is fun and keeps the listener interested. "Sludge" which in my eyes is the album's closer is a great ending song, it puts everything out on the line and drives the entire sound.

    The album comes to an end with a remixed version of "Peace Officer". It's basically the original version of the song with samples and DJ scratches. It's a fun variation, but offers nothing more than the real version did. As this track closes we see the CD player start counting it's way up to 81 and when we get there we get a nice gift, another song. It starts with a sweet bass line, and provides a great powerful track. It's a great end to the album.

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.


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