Saddle Creek | The Faint | Reviews


Blank-wave Arcade

11/01/1999 | Pitchfork Media | | Album Review
Alright, who out there is naked? You. I see you. You're naked. You're
sitting in front of your computer, perusing the web, and reading about some records. And you're doing it all with your secret parts exposed. Is that really necessary? The Faint seem to think so. On their latest effort,
Blank-Wave Arcade, the Faint sound completely nude. You can imagine these guys standing perfectly positioned behind their sea of keyboards, their hairy chests and legs staring you directly in the face. And whether it's really necessary is not an issue--it's fun. But Blank-Wave Arcade isn't
just an album about being naked; it's an album about sex. Virtually half
the songs on the album revolve around an incredible longing for sex, and frontman Todd Baechle isn't exactly Julio Iglesias. He's not gonna sing in three different languages, he's not gonna light the room with candles, and he's not gonna ask you about your life. To Baechle, it doesn't appear to be about being intimate -- he just wants to go balls deep. But I'm not gonna fuck with you-- Blank-Wave Arcade is new wave in its purest form. It's a slightly updated version of debut records by the Human League and Gary Numan. But there's something else there underneath those layers of synth--a trace of crazed 1990s indie rock bands like Brainiac, and maybe even elements of British pop stuff by the Auteurs and Pulp. Now, I'm no fan of new wave music, but there's something rockin' about this record. Perhaps it's that these guys not only have balls, but that they also possess a certain creativity that's generally non- existant in today's new wave stuff. Not only are their songs brilliantly catchy, they're also inventive in terms of both songwriting and instrumentation. You won't hear a lot of stupid, plinky casiotones-- you'll hear hard-assed, fuzzy analog noise peppered with unexpected buzzes and whirrs that enter the mix at just the right moment. In other words, the Faint have created one of the first records that's equal parts '80s new wave and garage rock. What're you gonna say about that? It sounds fuckin' awesome!
Blank-wave Arcade

Blank-wave Arcade

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