|CD CSMS-052-2 (8/5/2008)||$13.00||add to cart|
|LP CSMS-052-1 (8/5/2008)||$18.00||add to cart|
Before The Faint could build anything, the band had to demolish a few things. With Fasciinatiion, The Faint's fifth album, the band gives the world the realest representation of themselves to date, but in doing so, walls were literally and figuratively taken down. It also just so happens that the purest album the band has made is also their best; written, recorded, produced, art directed and released entirely on their own via their newly-formed label, blank.wav, Fasciinatiion is imbued equally with the musical instincts and perspectives of each band member. "It's all The Faint," lead singer Todd Fink (nee Baechle) explains. "There's no outside anything. It's exactly what five people (lead singer Fink, Fink's brother drummer Clark Baechle, bassist/guitarist Joel Petersen, guitarist/bassist Dapose and Jacob Thiele, who plays synthesizers) in The Faint could agree on. Or come close."
With the paint hardly dry on the walls of Enamel, the new Faint complex, the band made another major decision: Rather than have their new album produced by someone outside of the band, all five Faint members would produce it, with Joel Petersen acting as chief engineer. In addition to the band's desire to record a musical distillation of themselves, The Faint also aimed to retain their pop sensibilities while pushing themselves thematically and instrumentally into the future; the songs on Fasciinatiion, while engaged with the present world, are forward-looking. "In the past five years I've become more and more fascinated with everything. I also went on quite a future hunt," Fink says. "I was reading futurists and philosophies about the way things will be," Fink explains of the scenarios enumerated in a song on the album called "The Geeks Were Right."
In a similar vain, "Machine in the Ghost" is a warm, halting song that builds into Fink half-shouting, half-positing questions to all those who've claimed to have the key to existence (to name a few: acidheads, mathematicians, the Pope). The theme of the unknown ahead is also seen on album closer "A Battle Hymn For Children," a gorgeously swooning ballad sung from a child's perspective that turns chillingly angry. The song, which cleaved the band in terms of its inclusion, ended up on the record because of that anger and conviction. "That song was quite possibly the most lyrically expressive out of the whole batch of songs. My main interest is, 'I can tell you mean everything you're saying, and it gives me goose bumps,'" Petersen says.
The album's title gives the best representation of its contents. The product of a keyboard with a broken i-key and the strictures of iTunes, it's an apt title for a record made in the spirit of the awe the universe inspires, with several eyes on it. "It's an extension of all of us," says Petersen. "I think what keeps us going in general is that we want to surprise ourselves. It's the quest for that that keeps us moving."
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