Structure Factor 8 – A Conveniently Placed Close-Minded Fellow

Structure Factor 8
A Conveniently Placed Close-Minded Fellow

My music review for Structure Factor 8 was supposed to be completed three weeks ago. But I had nothing really to say about it then, so I shelved the review and did another one instead. I still don’t have much to say about it on my own so I went to the Internet to look around for other reviews of the same disc. I found a few, and most of them were laudatory. Says one, “Quick sonic odes home-in on melody, giving your ears an abrupt burst of pop-tinged beauty that’s freaky enough to catch your attention, yet durable enough to retain it.” Must not have been the same EP I received. Yes, it held my attention, but that was because it was, by and large, annoying. This EP plays more like someone’s music notes before even a rough draft begins to form. There are some interesting sounds and snippets of song, but for the most part, it’s rough, very rough, and a difficult listen.
Structure Factor 8 is really just one guy, Michael Winters. Who knows why he gives himself such a laborious pseudonym? Winters’ EP is an extremely loose collection of almost songs – tossed off ideas that show some promise but lack cohesion or a sense of completion. Winters is not wanting in creativity. His blend of 60s guitar surf-pop, mod rock, and distorting studio tricks make for intriguing ideas for other songs. They just don’t work all that well in the format he’s laid for them. In between a few songs, he sticks in amusing sampled introductions such as a monologue I presume to be by the actor who played “Hutch” from Starsky and Hutch. At least that’s who the guy says he is. It’s not really clear to me why Winters has included so many sampled recordings – one introduction, the Hutch monologue, and an interview – other than to add variety to his already short list of songs.
Winter’s voice is high and nasal, and on the majority of the songs he raises his voice to its highest possible pitch, hardly flattering for most people. He also employs the use of vocal repetition in the collection, such as “bap pap bah bah pap” over and over again in “Faster Eddy!,” “oh wah oh wah oh wah,” repeated almost as many times in “The Captain Never Left.” The combination of these two effects, Winters’ voice and the monotonous musical phrases, make this one of the most painful listens of my short career as a music reviewer.