The Faint | MUSIC: Soundbite | Indy Week
Pin It

The Faint 

Our critics' picks in new releases

Omaha. Home of emo-sobber Connor Oberst's Bright Eyes and Saddle Creek Records, an oasis amid the dust, slaughterhouses and flatlands of mid-America. Hardly the place to host the rebirth of synth-pop a la early Duran Duran and The Human League, Depeche Mode, Heaven 17, OMD and more. But The Faint, after their last sexually charged disc, Blank-Wave Arcade, have released a throbbing, post-rock synth album that's so retro it sounds cutting edge. Go figure. Boasting a live show mind-blowing in its '80s authenticity, bravado and style--red stage lights, un-invasive fog and strobe effects--The Faint gamely dance away as if it were 1982. (Their recent Cat's Cradle show led one locally based booking agent who'd never seen the band to comment, "Now I get it.")

But Danse Macabre, the band's third full-length, is more than a mere paean to early dance club synth bands (especially of the British-variety): The songs are hooky, the bassist is a groove-maniac, and the band is so tightly, whitely unfunky that Kraftwerk would be proud. Post post-moderne? Neu New Wave?

Whatever you want to call them, The Faint's lean, sexual '80s club music rocks harder than most guitar outfits, all pulsing beats, bottom-heavy rumbling synth lines and choruses that stick in your head like an alien implant (the '80s chip). Give a listen to Todd Baechle's clipped, vocodor-laden screams on "Your Retro Career Melted" or his liberal use of Simon Le Bon-isms (done with a punk aesthetic), and you'll be smitten with Faint lust. The band's muscular approach to the genre proves that dance music doesn't have to be fey: Give a listen to "The Conductor" or "Glass Danse" if you need convincing. Track nine ("Ballad of a Paralyzed Citizen") recalls Midge Ure and Ultravox with its slower tempo, orchestral strings and minor-keyed chorus. On Danse Macabre, The Faint move beyond revivalism to claim the '80s synth-rock territory as their own. And if that puts the black in your wardrobe, then this disc is for you.

  • Our critics' picks in new releases

Latest in MUSIC: Soundbite

More by Angie Carlson

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in MUSIC: Soundbite

  • Soundbite

    Our critics' picks in new releases
    • Nov 16, 2005
  • Soundbite

    Our critics' picks in new releases
    • Nov 16, 2005
  • Soundbite

    Our critics' picks in new releases
    • Nov 16, 2005
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Comments

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation