The Faint, Blank-Wave Arcade (Saddle Creek)

Posted December 31st, 1998 by admin

The Faint
Blank-Wave Arcade
Saddle Creek
By: Eric G.

The Faint is a quartet that bows humbly to the sexually energized synth pop of the early eighties while retaining a dark, modern edge. Imagine if Blur’s Damon Albarn were the lead singer for Duran Duran around the time of “Careless Memories” and “Planet Earth.” The Faint is unapologetic about its blatant obsession with sex, and it’s hard to ignore these hooks and chops. The music follows closely the example set by Duran Duran, which combined traditional rock-based instruments with loads of keyboards and drum machines. Where Duran Duran was a self-proclaimed mix of Chic and the sex Pistols, The Faint is more a cross between Duran Duran, Human League, OMD and T-Rex. And they are from the Midwest!?

With nine songs running a mere twenty-five minutes, The Faint storms through its dark, melodic pop with the immediacy of tracks like “Call Call” and “Victim Convenience.” Six Finger Satellite comes to mind at times minus the Albini-esque guitar assault, although, The Faint is not afraid to push the envelope of cathartic noise. Some tracks erupt into a fit of calculated noise but never cross the line into the land of aimless wanking. The production is pretty fuzzy, but that’s mostly due to the overdriven synthesizers. The Faint doesn’t seem too concerned about maintaining the early-eighties tendency for bombastic over-production. This album will have you slapping on your finest leather trousers and lip-synching in the mirror in the dark. No band has had the balls to display this level of unabashed panache since 1984.

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