Facemeat - Questions For Men (Art As Catharsis)

The sound of becoming unhinged...
Release Date: 
31 Aug 2015 - 11:30pm

Seven piece Sydney-siders Facemeat function as a kind of Satan The Accuser with this rather beautiful, yet wholly un-nerving, album. Questions For Men is an intriguing album that ponders the darkest corners of the male psyche via all manner of luxurious sound-scapes. Opener Compliments To Your Band explores relationships with musicians (and perhaps the possibility of seducing some dude's girlfirend while he pumps away on stage?) - there's squealing brass and skittish chord changes and Adam Moses lays down a vocal line that is both mellow yet filled with seething vitriol. This isn't a massively heavy album but it hits the spot.

With 13 tracks, it could easily be seen as a long old haul but commit yourself to it and you'll find there's a hell of a lot to enjoy. My Wife And Children has the quacking sax of John Zorn lovingly layered over a slinky, almost prog, framework. Indeed, there are elements of Miles Davis here and I doff my cap to all concerned, such is the musical virtuosity on here. There's groove with Dude Disco that combines surging guitars with lovely keyboard work. By fourth track Your Special Day, I had the impression that I almost knew what would be coming next but I was never quite sure, and that's what's so engaging about Questions... It defies easy compartmentalisation. As album title track Questions For Men kicked in, I had a sense of 'nothing's wrong but everything's wrong' - it's like some weird industrial music box instrumental. Disturbing.

There's sultry percussion combined with psychotic keys on Seven Days, and I was reminded of the freakish 2012 release Night Vision by Yurei at points; the album makes you feel quite uncomfortable at times as the band alludes to the underlying personality faults that you may, as yet, be unaware of. It may make you bristle but it's a swinging, lounge jazz extravaganza that can also be enjoyed heartily. Check out Hanging From A Line - it's so fucking jazz and could easily be quite soothing if not for the disturbing lyrical content. It would be an easy comparison to say this is like Zappa or Scott Walker but it's difficult not to compare - and when you're in such fine company as the above mentioned, it's hard to take offence at such lazy associations. Have a go for something utterly refreshing.