Saddle Creek | The Faint | Reviews


Wet From Birth

Author: Brian Sutherland
09/10/2004 | Lost at Sea | | Album Review
What does The Faint's Wet From Birth have in common with a virgin cocktail
and sex with a condom? It promises a debauched person nothing more than
disappointment although at least the cocktail leaves a good taste in one's
mouth and sex with a condom offers one at least a 50/50 chance for an

Wet From Birth fails miserably to leave its listener anything but one or two
memorable hooks as it comes across as a surprisingly insipid, primitive new
wave record created by veterans of cutting-edge, inventive no-wave,
dark-wave, blank wave or whatever the fuck critics hipper-than-me call it.
For lack of a better word, I'm just going to call this album's sound crap.

Without the ability to make these words audible, here's my best effort at
explaining the difference between the beats of The Faint's brilliant
previous LP, 2001's Danse Macabre, and Wet From Birth:

Danse Macabre: boom b-bobm-boom-boom boom b-b-boom b-bobm-boom-boom.

Wet From Birth: boom boom boom boom boom boom boom.

The Faint has either sold out to the dance club by making their beats so
conventional that even the worst DJ can mix them with other dance tracks, or
they have just run out of ideas altogether. I'll take the 50/50 chance at an
orgasm before I place a bet on which is a more accurate.

There are no heavy grooves like those of Danse Macabre's "Your Retro Career
Melted," no creative rhythms like Danse Macabre's "Violent. There are no
genuinely dangerous, edgy, kitschy lyrics like in Blank-Wave Arcade's
"Worked Up So Sexual" and "Casual Sex." Most disappointing of all, there are
absolutely no classic Faint-esque moments, like the break down on "Cars
Passing in Cold Blood," the synth hook of "Call Call," or the
bedroom-readiness of "Glass Danse."

Instead, Wet From Birth listeners are treated to banal beats that may as
well belong to Moby or No Doubt; lyrics that garner attention only because
they are so terrible (See the brilliant chorus of "Erection," which goes
"Oh/ Oh, oh/ Erection.") and only one song worth listening to more than
once, "Southern Belles in London Sing," which is, incidentally, the most
organic track on the record, featuring acoustic guitar, a string section and
minimal electronics.

While The Faint may not have provided the soundtrack for depravity that one
may have expected, they have at least accomplished something with their
latest record that will keep casual sex safe: they have produced a
convincing case for abortion.

This "birth" should have never been.
Wet From Birth

Wet From Birth

LP / CD / MP3


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