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Sweet Factory- Beautiful Sin (2005)

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  • REVIEW DRILL ISSUE 15 OCT 2005:
    Beautiful Sin: The Sweet Factory

    Having read a little about Dave Fitzsimon's musical history in Drill No.10 and hearing 'Someone Like You' from the sampler, I eagerly waited for Sweet Factory's 'Beautiful Sin' album to arrive, I was sure I was going to like it. And I was right. It made me feel like a little kid again, listening to my older brothers' albums in the mid 70s. Of course, 'Someone Like You' is a contemporary powerpop jewel, brimming with energy, melody, brightness and guitars. The feel softens slightly on 'Talk of the Town' where Dave's vocal conjures up sweet memories of Noddy Holder singing a Slade ballad, has an uncanny resemblance.

    The saucy 'Milk It' sounds as good as a caramel milkshake tastes, a blissful - just woken up but lying in on a Sunday morning kind of feel. I can imagine Liam Gallagher singing this song, it would fit nicely on an Oasis LP sans the attitude. The fourth charmer is 'Walls'. A world-class piano led ballad, superbly recorded. This time, Dave's youthful, husky and honest voice has him doing a great impression of the Eazybeats' front man, Stevie Wright. 'Love Your Life' comes across as a strange fusion of subtle Britpop and southern boogie, 'hell y'all it works ... don't it guv". If this track was on 'Revolver' it wouldn't be out of place. However, one aspect of it confuses me ....

    the distorted, low frequency percussive beat that hits sporadically on the third beat of most bars in the chorus? It's great enough without it. The most rocking track on this album is 'Pornstar' which displays glimpses of Jet, Free and AC/DC due to the chord riffs and guitar sounds. A great guitar solo is the icing on the cake of this cracker of a tune. If you think that I'm making too many references to other bands whose influences I can hear on this album then hear me out. What is happening here is that those little hints of influence are the mere catalysts for something that is far greater, which is the songs herein. Track 7 is 'Too Far Gone' which demonstrates to the likes of Aussie band Powderfinger that this is how there song 'Sunsets' should have turned out.

    Similar feel but Dave can sing! It builds to a great crescendo full of guitars and more guitars ... yeah! At this stage I was thinking "There's gotta be a naff song on 'ere somewhere, all albums have a dodgy song or two", but next up was 'Alleyways' and my judgement was wrong again. As with 'Walls', this is another world-class Britpop ballad. The melody in the chorus gave me goose bumps and lyrically, observations of mundane surroundings are romanced and glorified with a simplistic, poetic beauty. 'Ordinary Day' is as close to perfect as a ballad can get. The recording and performance are crystal clear, emotive and honest, building to a fittingly restrained crescendo. Track 10, the title track 'Beautiful Sin' is figurative, beautiful ... and it's a sin this album's come to an end. There's just a hint of organ to colour this song slightly and how could you go wrong with a chorus of "Love don't leave a light on, don't leave an open door .....

    " 'Beautiful Sin' by Sweet Factory smacks of experience, style and precision. Lyrically mature but with youthful delivery, it's descriptive in its story telling and teaming in imagery. A brilliantly recorded and produced album, but far from over produced. It sounds like a major label release but because it isn't, then I like it even more. It wouldn't surprise me if it did become a major label release in the future. Rohan Belton
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released March 1, 2005

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PowertoolRecords Auckland, New Zealand

Rough Church was conceived after the demise of Ferdinand, the band that existed from 1994-2003. Baseball, Concrete, rare steamy rain, tumbleweeds and lost poems about dirty chimneys are what influence this band. It spits out indie pop classic jams that get us compared to everything from Minutemen, Pixies, Broken Social Scene, WAR and Grand Funk. Deal with it! We can't get away from it. ... more

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