Reviews

Danse Macabre

Author: David Simutis
12/01/2001 | Magnet Magazine | Album Review
There will be those who wholeheartedly embrace the retro-futurism and burbling New Order-style synths of the Faint. Acid-washed jeans and big-hair metal is back, so why not the distorted synths, electric drums and distorted vocals of new wave? With a skinny-tie-wearing goth on the cover, Danse Macabre at least wears its post-post-modern intentions on its sleeve. The Faint's third album has just enough punk energy to keep it from being completely lame, as this retro quintet from Nebraska resuscitates rapid-fire keyboards and detached cool in a quest for unironic rock/dance music. That they're skateboarders from Omaha might have something to do with it (is there irony in Nebraska?), but it's more likely people are running out of styles from the recent past to pillage. Put it this way: If Deathray was too Cars, the Faint is too Gary Numan's "Cars." Todd Baechle's robotic monotone is a bit detached from the music at times, sounding as if he's calling in the vocals from a phone booth. Couple this with the way the beats sometimes stray into post-disco oomp-oomps, and you have something you would've heard piped into the Merry Go Round at the mall back in '83. Moment of goodness in an otherwise mostly redundant album: the nearly a cappella vocal-and-drum-machine break on the unironically titled "Your Retro Career Melted." [Saddle Creek, www.saddle-creek.com]

Danse Macabre

Danse Macabre

LP / CD / MP3