Wet From Birth
Author: Ben Simkins
Genre-bending. It's a difficult art and a harder one to pull off successfully. What's the secret? Don't over think it. Write, play, tweak and release an album that you yourself would listen to. For a band like The Faint, these rules seem rudimentary, almost as if they've been following them since birth. The Faint's fourth outing progresses and reinvents as if the two things were one. Taking a less dark stance than Danse Macabre, The Faint develop their signature synth-alternative sound further than before. Their fear of replicating 80's inspired sounds seems to have lessened over the years, allowing for a more upbeat, jagged beat-infused dance album that would not be out of place in any rock album collection. Having said this, there is always a sense that The Faint has no intention of following or setting any nostalgic and fleeting trend, opting instead for producing an album of unique approaches to ideas that they themselves want to hear. Each song, with its crisp and calculated production value, takes on a life of its own during its average four minute duration. For example "Phone Call" pulls you into a world of ska-inspired off beats and clean, Fender-style bass lines, whereas the album's standout track, "Southern Bells in London Sing," drives relentlessly forward with a string section that, if isn't real, is a stroke of genius that I want in on. Oh, and see if you can spot the 'raccoon penis bone-on-muffler solo.' Overall, there isn't a filler track in the bunch. If this one isn't already part of your collection, you know what to do.