The Folk Factory

The Folk Factory

Written by: PP on 31/12/2014 02:24:08

Now this is how singer-songwriter styled folk / alt country is supposed to sound like. The Folk Factory from Denmark give their best impression of the two genres, finding their expression somewhere between the punk-rooted roars of Chuck Ragan's solo material and the mainstream folk rock of Mumford & Sons on their self-titled debut album that came out a few months ago.

Spirited vocal melodies, strong atmospheres and a fun-filled soundscape driven by banjos, mandolins, tambourines, and harmonicas on top of the standard instrumentation, The Folk Factory deliver an at times danceable ("Clawhammer"), at times sing-alongable ("If I Fall)" interpretation of alt country that shouldn't leave anyone cold. The latter song, for instance, sounds freakishly much like a song by Chuck Ragan, if it wasn't for the much smoother and higher pitched vocals used by The Folk Factory instead of the gravelly roars. Elsewhere, the band opt for a surprisingly high tempo - see "Stoned" - where the banjo and mandolin are in big roles driving the songs forward. The supplementing harmonica on the background is great, adding layers of texture to the song, which also houses a solid chorus melody. This type of theme repeats itself in multiple places throughout the record, even if 14 songs does feel a little bit overkill for this type of a record. Folk music is on prominent display through the traditional instruments, and is generally executed to the satisfaction of anyone accustomed to listening to bands as varied as Flogging Molly to the aforementioned Mumford & Sons.

Sure, there are quieter singer-songwriter tracks like "Beat Hotel" that could've easily been skipped because they don't really sound any different from your standard fare singer-songwriter tracks, but on the other hand they offer a breather in a rather hectic album of banjo-driven melodies designed to get your dancing shoes on. That's saying something considering this is still primarily a folk and not a folk punk record. Still, by cutting a few tracks and leading with ten or eleven, "The Folk Factory" could be truly excellent. For now, the release is a display that yes, Danes can also write folk rock that isn't boring, but at the same time a reminder of how delicate the balance between a merely decent and a great album is.


Download: If I Fall, Clawhammer, Stoned
For the fans of: Chuck Ragan, Mumford & Sons
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.09.2014

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