The Ten Pound Factor
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The Ten Pound Factor

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After first listening to Atlanta-based The Ten Pound Factor’s initial full length release, Fed ‘Til We’re Dead, I just assumed it was a full band, well-honed in their craft, that had slipped in under the radar. But this set of brothers, Ryan and Chris Chisholm, have taken the DIY approach and gone it alone. It’s a good thing too; these two sound like they’re doing well without any help from outsiders.

Opening with back-to-back big guitar sounds and some upbeat, hopeful harmonies, “Our Philosophy” sounds like Primal Scream’s “Movin’ Up” fronted by Robbie Williams. And that’s not meant as an insult. “Mistakes” has the same steady roll of The Stone Roses’ “Standing Here.”

With the exception of the aforementioned Williams, there is a real Mancunian influence at work here. The Stone Roses and Oasis are all over the place. As I am a huge fan of both, this came as a nice surprise.

“Are You Rollin’?” has the acid-house feel of Definitely Maybe. This may be the “Cigarettes and Alcohol” of The Ten Pound Factor’s initial arsenal. With lyrics like “But everybody does it, the ecstasy ignites it, the Smoke gets into ya, the pleasure will convince you,” it’s easy to see this is more like an anthem to the rave-all-night-slacker lifestyle rather than something you might hear opening the Southern Baptist Convention.

The title track left a bit to be desired. Once I was past the frightening expectation of Dennis DeYoung’s “Mr. Roboto” leaping from the keyboards, the guitars and drums became derivative, and it fell apart lyrically.

The clean, psychedelic riffs of “How?” add to the dreamy happiness that a blotter of acid can save the world. Well, maybe not just one blotter, but 8 billion blotters, distributed evenly and followed by a fist-sized chunk of hash. Alas, this one is gone in barely two minutes, but the hope remains.

The Chisholm boys create an airy delicacy with “Into Outer Space.” Acoustic guitars lift slowly over filtered vocals, and the drums thrust this one into a Champagne Supernova. This is the track that immediately struck me as great; the only thing it lacked was an extended solo of some sort.

Fed ‘Til We’re Dead is a strong initial showing from a ostensibly talented set of brothers. Even among the heavy influences, there is a certain amount of originality. If this is what’s possible on a debut release, it’ll be nice to see what the future holds. Maybe with a few more albums under their belt, they can take the DIY approach to the masses and let them witness for themselves how demonic the industry can be when bands like this go unnoticed!
- Derek Blackmon


Ironically titled or not, The Ten Pound Factor’s “Fed ‘til We’re Dead” is a magnified look at what can really be achieved when you sit down and write quality pop-rock songs. Deceptively powerful since it’s packaged with subtle hooks that reel you in like an addict walking by the methadone clinic, there’s a collection of songs for practically every emotion and every moment of life. Comprised mainly of singer/songwriter Ryan Chrisholm along with his brother Chris on drums, The Ten Pound Factor coaxes incredible song structures in a format that’s boringly dull with its standard chorus-verse-chorus composure. And while they don’t avoid that structure in reality, they give it a fresh new approach that pop so badly needs, though one might be confused as to whether he’s being ironic on “Are You Rollin’” with its seemingly pro-ecstasy banter or if he’s so tongue-in-cheek it’s pushing through his face. - J-Sin


We receive a lot of material for review, but were quite impressed with this one. The melodies were pleasing enough to satify our musical cravings. While some may find influences from the "glam rock" era of the 80's, we can take it back even further to groups like City Boy, Be Bop Deluxe and similiar late 70 rock groups. Like the old Prego commercial says, it's all in there. - cybermidi.com


Any singer/songwriter who comes along with the message that life is precious and that every moment should be savored had better have some songs that are worth listening to. Fed `Til We're Dead, the debut full-length CD from The Ten Pound Factor, has the goods to back up the message.

The Ten Pound Factor is the current project from singer/songwriter Ryan Chisholm and brother/drummer Chris. The vocal and guitar harmonies pleasantly recall The Byrds and Boston, interestingly about the only two rock bands to write great songs about being rock bands. There's no song about that subject on Fed, nor are there any songs about lost loves, another welcome departure. Chisholm proves - and sings - loud and clear that even power ballads can be written about more than this tired subject. He also proves that he can write more than ballads, with plenty of hooks, bridges, and solos to reintroduce a healthy dose of rock into pop-rock.

The lyrics are as reassuring as the music is assured. Ryan gives the narrators of his songs an authentic voice. He understands that by telling his own story, sincerely and simply, he will connect with the listener's own story. The result is that whether the song called "My Story" is autobiographical becomes secondary. The songs, like those of The Alarm, become sources of candor and comfort that the listener can use to start thinking about where his or her own life has gone, and where it can go.

I have found listening to this CD to be an enjoyable and nourishing artistic experience. (Trust me, that previous sentence is more pretentious than anything on Fed `Til We're Dead.) Maybe Ryan will never write a song about friendship, either (another tough one - see anyone since Carole King). But there's enough empathy, reliability, and optimism in the words and music of The Ten Pound Factor to tide you over until one of your own friends is on the other end of the phone.
- David Ross


Discography

October 19, 2004 - The Ten Pound Factor: "Fed 'Til We're Dead." 13-song, full-length CD available at cdbaby.com, amazon.com, and towerrecords.com.

1998 - The Ten Pound Factor: "Self Titled." 8-song EP

1995 - Modisto: "Self Titled." 6-song EP

1994 - River: "Land." 8-song EP

1992 - Tungus Grumph and Wax: "Self Titled." 7-song EP

Photos

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Bio

October 19, 2004 - The Ten Pound Factor's debut full-length, 13 song CD, "Fed 'Til We're Dead," is released and is available at cdbaby.com, amazon.com, and towerrecords.com.

The Ten Pound Factor is comprised of an intricate layering of instrumentation and vocal harmony: acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitars, keyboards, drums, and percussion. These harmonies are woven to create a sound all its own. The vocal harmonies have a meaning themselves, blending with the music in a Beach Boys style. Yet, refreshingly you’ll hardly find any “love songs” here; the lyrics focus primarily on life issues. The group is the brainchild of Ryan Chisholm, whose vision seeps through the songs. He records and produces the music and instruments (minus the drums), as artists like Trent Reznor. Ryan layers the songs with details and intricacies that keep you discovering new interpretations and meanings with each listen. Beatlesque bass lines dance along with a raw electric guitar sound reminiscent of Guns ‘N’ Roses, based on a primarily two-guitar interplay. The drums have an R&B meets rock feel, with distinct bass drum beats that keep your feet stompin’ and tambourines and shakers that keep your body movin’. There’s also a delicate blend of piano and acoustic guitar that softens some of the songs.

Ryan Chisholm grew up at the dawn of MTV, in the “glam rock” era of music. His best friend began teaching him guitar in the 6th grade. Eventually they decided to form a band. Since they needed a drummer — enter Ryan’s brother, Chris, who was more than willing to fill the position. From there they began playing high school and Halloween parties, performing covers of Guns ‘N’ Roses, Tesla, and the Black Crowes. It was during this period that Ryan began writing songs, wanting to express himself through music and pushing the band to do originals. Eventually, the band dissolved. Luckily, while working at a record and tape store, Ryan met a fellow employee who played guitar and had a 4-track home studio. They got together to play. Ryan wrote music and played acoustic guitar, while his friend played electric. Ryan became entranced with writing and recording songs. The duo released a demo EP in 1993 under the name, “Tungus Grumph and Wax.” This outlet was a much easier way for Ryan to express himself and get his ideas out than in a band setting. It also taught him the basics of recording and arranging songs. After they split, Ryan and Chris invested in their own recording equipment. They recorded 3 demo EPs between 1994 and 1998, leading up to their 2004 full-length release, “Fed ‘Til We’re Dead.”