Saddle Creek | The Faint | Reviews


Danse Macabre

Author: Eric J Herboth
08/27/2001 | Lost at Sea | | Album Review
Good gawd. This record has been highly touted by nearly everyone I know who has heard it, and with every listen it climbs higher up my "best of" mental lists. Makes me want to do a lot of crazy shit. Wear all black. Go to clubs. Get phone numbers on match books. Dance. Crazy shit.
I am traditionally so not into new-wave stuff, because the original version was just a bit too tacky. The "new" new wave, however, is all right and the Faint are without a doubt the cream of the crop.
The Faint come correct with heavy synth-laden rumblers riding a wave of low end sexual subversion. If you took the best parts of Human League, Pretty Hate Machine-era Nine Inch Nails and the Cure and whipped them up into a sex-crazed fuck frenzy, you might come up with the Faint. Just maybe.
Where bands like Antarctica tend to over use the plinky-plonky high end Casio tones of their 90's take on new wave, the Faint blow your doors and panties off with their fuzzed and droning analog zoom, tossing in a dash of ambiguous "vvvvring"s here and there to add a bit of glitz to their sandpaper suave.
The lines above are taken from my review of Blank Wave Arcade at Pillowfight (oh god how we miss thee, P-fight!) and, for the most part, they stand as tall and true for Danse Macabre as they did for the previous album. The Faint still have that New Order-like urgency and a dark, almost gothic artsy edge that keep them in the sonic company of Depeche Mode, early Trent Reznor and the Human League while putting some serious distance on bands like Antarctica, National Skyline, and the older frigid-pop ilk like Echo and The Bunnymen.
On Danse Macabre the Faint offer up a grocery list of instant dance/drug classics that re-prove the already concrete fact that retro is never a trend, that old styles never die, and that borrowing from the past can result in remarkable inroads to the future. "Your Retro Career Melted" and "Let The Poison Spill From Your Throat" are both worthy of repeated repeats, but the standout on this album is "Ballad Of A Paralysed Citizen", the track which Gretta Cohn, Cursive's new cellist, contributes to, giving the Faint an even more organic sound than they had previously.
Say what you want about the Faint (most people I know can't stand them), but Danse Macabre is a solid album that is almost hypnotic in its ability to suck in dancers and wall flowers alike.
Danse Macabre

Danse Macabre

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