Release Date: Aug 5, 2008
Record label: Blank.Wav
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The Faint, departing from the Omaha-based Saddle Creek Records, would seem to be in search of a change: for listeners, that change might not mean much. Fasciinatiion is clearly more music in the basic vein they've been trodding forward in since the release of 1999's Blank Wave Arcade. Their new label, the band's own blank.wav records – a playful nod toward that band-defining album – may have been created for further financial or creative gain, but much to the relief of their fans, The Faint don't seem intent on switching their musical focus.
After a four-year break that involved building their own recording studio and setting up their own label, Blank.Wav, the Faint return with Fasciinatiion, a set of songs that are as ambitious as they are sleek -- and tweaked: "I might distort myself a bit," Todd Fink sings on "Mirror Error," but that's an understatement. Virtually any sound that can be altered or augmented on the album has been, illustrating the blurring of man and machine that is one of Fasciinatiion's major themes. On "Forever Growing Centipedes," fuzzed-out beats and keyboards zap and twitch like they're attached to electrodes, while "The Geeks Were Right"'s chunky bassline gives the song's dystopian rock an electro-inspired backbone.
Surely one of the biggest bands to revivify dance punk in the early 2000s, the Faint have decided to go it alone for their fifth album, Fasciinatiion. And by alone, we mean alone. They created their own label, blank.wav, to release the album. They wrote, recorded, produced, and art-directed it. But ….
Review Summary: The Faint's retro career has melt-melt-melt-melted.The Faint - FasciinatiionThe Faint, after starting off as a run-of-the-mill Saddle Creek indie artist, transformed their sound into electronic dance punk with disco beats and dark, industrial atmospherics. Essentially, they're a huge influence on artists like Blaqk Audio that thrive on being "alternative" dance music, though The Faint have always had their own edge and vibe that set them apart. A key component of this aura is that the slinky sexiness of mixing dance sounds with industrial sounds was echoed in the lyrics.
Former Saddle Creek dwelllers try a little too hardOmaha’s The Faint nails its whole sputtering, robotic, electro-pop thing in “The Geeks Were Right,” the first single from the band's fifth album, Fasciinatiion.Numan, Kraftwerk and A Flock of Seagulls. The song flirts with awkwardness but coalesces into a rhythm so forceful you can almost see it stomping its way through the lyrics. The high- and low-pitched, surprisingly melodic blurts and bleeps coming from Jacob Thiele’s synthesizers play like a combined soundtrack for Forbidden Planet and American Bandstand, while the rest of the group—guitarist Dapose, bass player Joel Petersen and drummer Clark Baechle—deliver the sonic crunch.