A Mission Of Five

The Statue Factor

Nebulon Community Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Every once in a while, I hear a band whose music sounds like it is the offspring of two better-known bands. Sometimes, this merging of styles is pleasant; other times, it sounds like cats being thrown into a food processor. Then, there are the marriages of style that both irritate me and thrill me. Ladies and gentlemen, meet The Statue Factor.

Their independent disc A Mission Of Five sounds a lot like what would happen if the B-52s and the Violent Femmes were to merge. Sometimes, the end result ain't pretty, but there are times on this disc that show me such a collaboration of styles can work, and can work well. Too bad there aren't more moments like these on this disc.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band - vocalist Joseph Coehlo, guitarist Jesse Thomas, organist/vocalist Lady K, bassist James Dias and drummer Roger Knight - often sound like an electrified Violent Femmes, only they're lacking Gordon Gano's annoying whine. Instead, Coehlo bellows on some of the tracks as if he were being emotionally tortured - not a great way to make a first impression. Throw in Lady K's shouts from behind the keyboards, and you've got the B-52's without the smarminess of Fred Schneider - or, for that matter, the harmony of said band.

The early minutes of A Mission Of Five are some of the band's most difficult to get through. Tracks like "Skulls, Blades And Hearts" and "She Destroyed Me" fail to impress, even though these tracks often hint at some promise. But just when you're about to give up all hope on this band, out come tracks like "Coughing Up Blood" and "Popular Girl Syndrome," tracks which still need a coat of paint, but turn out to be rather enjoyable efforts.

This ping-ponging between quality and pain continues for most of A Mission Of Five. For each track that was painful to listen to ("Tight Shirt Conspiracy," "He's Cheap Luv"), there was a corresponding track that reaffirmed hope in The Statue Factor ("Inemotion," "After Midnight"). All of this, crammed into just under 40 minutes, leaves you feeling exhausted and a bit confused at the end.

The Statue Factor is still a very young band, and as A Mission Of Five proves, they do have some promise behind their music. If they're going to have a fighting chance in the gladiator game we call the music industry, they have to work on making their music less spotty and more cohesive and coherent. Once they do that, they will easily have a good chance at making a name for themselves nationally. Until then, A Mission Of Five suggests that the mission, while not impossible, may be hard to achieve.

Rating: C-

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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Nebulon Community Records, and is used for informational purposes only.