The Faint, a band I had a watchful eye on. Waiting for them to move more toward me or away. Well, I am glad to say that after their latest LP, Blank-Wave Arcade, The Faint have moved closer to me with Danse Macabre but yet still have a ways to go.
You see, Danse Macabre is what I would declare superior to Blank-Wave Arcade in many ways... Mainly songwriting. The Faint have seemed to make a tremendous leap in their songwriting ability dealing out powerful songs full of athemic rage and contempt like "Agenda Suicide".
The Faints sound is still reminescent of 80s mainstream new wave but this time on Danse they dive deeper down in the sound; closer to bands and performers like John Foxx, Gary Numan and Kraftwerks latter era stuff but still within the comforts of their established rhetoric; Midge Ures' era in Ultravox, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode and The Human League.... In fact what I want, what I need, is for The Faint to delve more deapley into performers like John Foxx and Gary Numan. John Foxx is one person who I will admit, I have only one recorded song by, but its a rager of a tune! Its a song called "Underpass" from a cost cutting new wave sampler that also features a track by The Gary Numan. After hearing this song I could totally understand how Mr. Gary Numan himself was influenced in his solo career. I can hear a bit of John Foxx in The Faint BUT not enough... There seems to be a need for fast, dance-beats if you will, that I feel The Faint hide behind to make their music "danceable" and/or "upbeat". Bullshit. The Faint need more John Foxx. How many times do I have to say it? The Faint need more Gary Numan (Pleasure Principal) and hell, while were at it, lets give them more Joy Division too.
Im being overly hard on The Faint; for that I am sorry. Really, I am. Thats no bullshit. Im really getting into what The Faint have to offer and even considered driving to Indianapolis, Indiana to witness their Danse live, in person, itself. What I know is that I can put this LP on and listen to it, and after a while I just reach this place where I can say "I have had enough" and change the LP. Im even prepared to think that this isnt even the bands fault themselves. Maybe its me. All I know is that of all The Faint HAD, and all that they have gotten inbetween Blank-Wave Arcade and now; in all that The Faint HAVE, something is missing. Its just a pinch or dash of a lil somethin'-somethin' keeping this band from totally rocking my world, like they should, like when I heard Servotron for the first time.
The Faint on Danse Macabre is too house dance to me. Too raver for it to just topple me. You cant impress everyone all the time no matter how hard you try.... The Faint havent seemed to grasp this yet. Someone needs to tell them that its OK for them to alienate, in fact, it comes to be expected. When you can listen to a LP and can picture Juliette Lewis dancing around with two robots in a room for a GAP commercial, someones gotta say it.... I think WITHOUT 'saying it' I have been the one to say it. You have to be a fucking moron to miss all the commercialness that The Faint have. Its just fingertips away.
The other day I was with my better half. Shopping. God Bless America. While waiting just outside the dressing room I hear Buggles, I hear Missing Persons, I even hear Gary Numan himself performing "Cars" over the stores intercom system. paranoia anthem turned conumerism? Sure. bThink about it:
FUCK, shopping and being paranoid is actually the same thing. takes the same amount of energy and woudlnt you know it, just as much fun! I could have just as easily heard "Violent" by the Faint. In fact maybe it was the next song...Just after I walked out the door.
I dont care though. More power to them. I could see the humor hearing a track like "Total Job" in the mall. Borderline art. The new Swindle. You see, I like going to the malls where everything is shoved right down my throat. I like being force-fed bullshit on conveyer belts and window shopping. Window shopping is the modern art gallery. I respect a good window display as much as a Salvador Dali print.
Danse Macabre I think is a concept album. The cover artwork is taken from a dance piece called One Charming Night that was in turn based on a book about vampires. Ballet! Something as forgin to me as bottled water! Vampire ballet! Ah, goth! Thats it, The Faint are the vanguard of a new goth movement! Tracks throughout the LP seem to be centered around urban revolt. Industrial sabotage. Like if there was a modern version of Metropolis made, the Faint would fulfill the creative visions for the movies soundtrack.
The Faint show a rougher edge on Danse Macabre than previous LPs. I feel as though I have been very harsh on The Faint in this review and once again, I apologize. I apologize for the same reasons that I am so abusive; I care. In all fairness, Over the course of the last several days and giving both Dance and Arcade spins, I have grown more attatched to The Macabre. Its grown on me. Vampiric ballet? Sure! Im fucking game. Bring it on Mothers!!!!
What all Record Review boil it all down to is one thing: Buy or dont buy. Am I glad I bought this LP? Yes. That is saying something. I bought this LP and decided to review it. As much as it would have been cool for me to get this in the mail from Saddle-creek, I didnt.
Do I desperatly await more from The Faint? Yes.
Maybe it aint to late to catch their show in Indianapolis.....
LP / CD / MP3
LP / CD / MP3
LP / CD / MP3