Saddle Creek | The Faint | Reviews


Wet From Birth

Author: Steve Hochman
06/06/2004 | Los Angeles Times | | Feature
A lot has changed in the three years since the Faint released its last album, "Danse Macabre." For one thing, the band's electronic-based sound, influenced by such figures as Gary Numan and Human League, has been adopted by many other practitioners. For another, the Omaha independent-rock community and the Saddle Creek Records label that gave us the band has gone from being little known to, if anything, overexposed.

That means the Faint faces the challenge of standing out from the crowd with its next album as much as it did with the last, without being untrue to itself.

"We're trying to find new voices, some new sounds for the group," says singer Todd Baechle. "We're naturally moving on without feeling that sense of getting away from what we do."

The album, "Wet From Birth," is due Sept. 14 from Saddle Creek, an affiliation that might come as a surprise to many. The band was heavily courted by major labels around the time of "Danse Macabre," and despite its protestations that it wasn't interested in leaving Saddle Creek, there was a lot of speculation that it was only a matter of time before it was confronted with an offer it wouldn't be able to refuse.

Baechle, though, believes that is now a moot point.

"The word is out that we probably missed our chance, if that was what we wanted to do," he says. "We're happy with Saddle Creek. We knew that we'd be comfortable and happy continuing what we're doing, and it's a gamble to be given a whole bunch of money or be promoted in a way that we might find embarrassing. Now it's been a year or two since we've had a meeting with anybody about it."

The biggest impact on the album, though, was more on the inside. Producer Mike Mogis became a first-time father, and the baby's presence had an effect on the creative process.

"The lyrics are less detached than the other records, more human," says Baechle. "I've opened up a bit. I can't say a baby is a mascot, but some of the thematic material on the record comes from that.

"One song is sort of about experiencing birth as a tourist reliving my own birth. That's how 'Wet From Birth' became the title. Seems fitting that we've got a new life being made by our producer at the same time we were making a new album."
Wet From Birth

Wet From Birth

LP / CD / MP3