It always amazes Rocks Off how we'll start liking one band - Bunnymen-loving London post-punks White Lies, in this case - and then a little while later, stumble across a local band who could be their twin. If only, you know, they weren't from halfway around the world. That's what happened with Houston's The Factory Party. Just as we were ending our extended honeymoon with White Lies, which lasted from a week or two before Austin City Limits to the trio's date opening for Kings of Leon at Toyota Center a few weeks back, TFP's After Death There Is Nothing EP showed up on our desk. No big secret where TFP gets its name. The quartet's cascading two- and three-note guitar lines and rigid rhythms, equal parts kinetic and airless, spring straight from the template established on New Order's first two or three albums. Those records came out on Factory Records, the label founded by late Manchester music impresario Tony Wilson that also released albums and singles by the likes of Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark and Happy Mondays. TFP's shouty vocals and the generally shambling nature of the songs also remind Rocks Off a little bit of The Fall, a group that was also from Manchester - never on Factory, mind you, but they might as well have been. Normally you'd think bands have to be from Brooklyn to sound this British, but apparently not. TFP does appear to have the dress code down, though. Even more interestingly, After Death was the No. 2-selling record at Cactus Music last week, behind another local release, Tody Castillo's Windhorse. There must be more Interpol fans around here than we thought, and they're in luck: Houston has two chances to see The Factory Party live this week. First is tonight at Rudyard's with the Bay Area's Port O'Brien - apparently Johnny Marr of the Smiths, yet another legendary Manchester group, is a big fan - and Houston Christian indie-poppers While You Were Gone. And if you miss that, don't worry - after a brief stopover Thursday at Austin's Beauty Bar, where they'll fit right in, TFP comes right back to play the Mink with Springfield Riots and Austin's Ringo Deathstarr Friday night.
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