Facts stay true to the synthy '80s on The Hunch

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      The Hunch (Independent)

      A couple of years on from local outfit Facts’ first full-length effort, Like a Living Being, the synth-slinging group is staying true to the same sorts of electronic-pop–informed arrangements on the bite-size follow-up EP, The Hunch. But though the band seemingly has a thing for early ’80s keyboards, the record’s retro direction often recalls the dance-rock scene of a decade ago.

      The opener, “Nerves”, for instance, sounds akin to long-forgotten mid-’00s crew the Bravery being fronted by an AutoTune-abusing version of Placebo’s adenoid-affected singer, Brian Molko. Sean Bletcher’s lyrics, written from the perspective of an amnesiac trying to piece back together “fractured memories”, serve to underscore the forgettable nature of a languid, one-note verse. The song, however, gains traction with its melancholic chorus.

      The narrative of low-key shuffler “Forest Fire” has Bletcher admitting to even more memory loss before delivering a series of cryptic questions to “the one I fear” (“why do you choose to wander instead of sleep?”). “Caught Up” shifts gears tonally, adding a wistful blend of soft-rock piano and Duran Duran bass to a story of romantic obsession.

      The nightlife-set title track closes things with a chipper Casiotone beat and bounding synth bass, but pairs those good vibes with lyrics about falling into the same old weekend routines. Call it a hunch, but the malaise of the message may be a tip-off that are Facts is contemplating where it goes from here.