Edinburgh trio come of age on third album
There’s an advert on TV just now, it’s for some fancy car or other. Its slogan is ‘machines cannot make art’, or words to that effect. Clearly its boxy manufacturers have never encountered the organic mechano-pop of FOUND.
For the past ten years, the Aberdeen-formed, Edinburgh-based art collective have flaunted their creative ingenuity with a series of Fence releases, multimedia spectaculars and a BAFTA-winning rock’n’roll robot called Cybraphon. But factorycraft, FOUND’s third long-player (and first for Chemikal Underground) sees them coming of age as a muscular three-piece; as serious rock band; as one of our finest.
It also proves that, contrary to vehicular TV marketing wisdom, mechanics and art make for carnal bedfellows – hence, of course, factorycraft. (There is rarely a note or message wasted – or unexplored – with FOUND).
Witness, then, the marriage of homespun folk-rock and wiry (nay, Wire-y) guitar lines of ‘Anti-Climb Paint’; the accomplished vocals, techno-grooves and Joshua Tree riffs of ‘I’ll Wake with a Seismic Head No More’ and the picturesque soul and industrial framework of ‘Machine Age Dancing’.
Yet while art and engineering have principal roles, space and time are the real stars on factorycraft. The album’s sprawling centre-piece, ‘Shallow’, is incandescent: part motorik perambulation; part MOR anthem; part rain-smeared, night-time, pitch-shifting wig-out.
‘Blendbetter’, meanwhile, is a psychedelic swansong from a trio who have discovered a nation’s hitherto-untapped love for Celtic kraut-folk. You can discern their silhouettes, flanked by The Phantom Band: walking like robots; singing like lovers; dancing in a brave new dawn of Scottische Pop.