Faction, the debut album of London based band Henrik, is a grower in every sense of the word. It has taken a lot of living with this album to appreciate what band members Alex Dickson: guitar, plinky-tronics and vocals and Paul Winter-Hart: drums, rods and yoga (as described in their own words on myspace) are expressing. They clearly love the music they make, and after a while I have started to appreciate it (although I think actually enjoying it will take a few more listens). The only stand out track for me, so far (and I have a feeling that ask me tomorrow and this will change) is 'This Time' (track 8). Henrik describe their influences on myspace as 'anything that sparkles', they do appear to be a terribly endearing band, and a band I really want to like. Musically they are very accomplished and polished, but I'm just not convinced by the collection of songs presented here for our listening pleasure.
Back to the very beginning, and the album starts with a slow build up with 'Hey Ho', not the best opening track and it pushes the impatient of heart to reach for the remote and press next (although for me the first time it was stop). Track 2, 'Any Old Day', pushes the broken of heart to reach for the gin. This reminds me of the mid 90s Indie pop created by bands like the Crocketts (classic misery-pop). By track 3 you really need something to lift you out of a small pit of despair, and 'Try Me' does as least get you standing, although it is still a bit of a dirge, the next track 'Is It' knocks you down again. The plinky-tronics (sic) of track 6 create a bridge between the sorrowful first half of the album and the slightly more uplifting second half. As said above 'This Time' is the stand out track. This song is great, and embraces the good side of love. The other tracks leave you wanting more from Henrik, not in terms of more songs, but just more of the something they promise with 'This Time'! They are great musicians, and you know that the great songs are there.
Henrik just don't do it for me, not quite yet, but if you want a challenge and fancy allowing a grower of an album into your life go for 'Faction', I've given it time and slowly have found that bit-by-bit it is growing on me.
Musically greatbut the songs just lack that 'anything that sparkles' quality that they seek.