Friday, August 08, 2008
American Gothic: The Faint "Fasciination"
With 2004's Wet from Birth, Omaha quintet the Faint took a nasty little step away from the world of retro dance and into the land of Goth-kid apathy. The results were admittedly bold but, unfortunately, spotty. While Danse Macabre (that album's lauded predecessor) took the band's proposed new wave reboot to soaring heights of bastardized dance-pop hybrids with razor-sharp synth melodies, the Faint has never been an outfit concerned with meeting expectations. Each of their LPs have been significantly different in tone as well as delivery, making it hard to fault them completely for Wet from Birth without also faulting ourselves for having any expectations at all. So the album, while sinister, joyless and cheeky, almost made sense as a logical accompaniment to the technical prowess and promise displayed on Danse Macabre.
With a Depeche Mode kind of darkness, the Faint's latest, Fasciination, deals in sexual politics and, oddly, actual politics with enough aural texture to stand alongside the aforementioned giant's lesser albums (like Ultra), but lacks the perspective and inexplicable gothic perfection to stand with their best (Music for the Masses, Violator).
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