The Faint – Fasciinatiion (blank.wav)

On Aug 29, we will have a drawing for a free copy of this album to a lucky US winner! Comment this post or email us at auralstates@gmail.com with your name, address and contact email for future contests. We will announce the winner next week.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

MP3: The Faint – Machine in the ghost

There is something irresistible about the Faint. Even as they tread so much water in this release, re-defining the meaning of middle-ground moderation from the tempos to the production…they are still contagious. And definitively the Faint.

However, only sparks are left from the twitching dance-punk energy of the best tracks from Wet from Birth and Danse Macabre. Instead, each track on Fasciinatiion tends to sit in mid-tempo and just coast along. Veering more and more into one-dimensional electro and glitch-tweaking, the Faint have dropped a number of aspects that really gave their music a distinct and electric flavor. The most noticeable void is the lack of dramatic flair, largely attributable to the absence of string choruses (violin, viola, cello are all gone).

The Faint dabble with more complex lyrical themes with only a modicum of success. Though never really lyrical powerhouses, this collection of songs is still nowhere near the peak of the Faint’s songwriting. Their oft-entertaining, if not particularly profound, word-twists are few and far between and widely varying in quality. But from here on out, let’s just focus mostly on the music…because that’s what really matters when the Faint get you on the dance-floor.

On other albums, tracks like “I Treat You Wrong” would have wound into an absolute frenzied dervish. Instead, they sit here content with coyly playing at building tension and release without any true movement in either direction. “Fulcrum and Lever” finds the Faint really playing in some interesting and unfamiliar territory, exploring a steamier, dubby/hip-hop vibe and delivery. The end-product is only half-convincing, but points for trying. “Fish in a womb,” “A battle hymn for children” and “Psycho” are completely disposable, un-compelling tracks. “The geeks were right” sounds more like a B-side from a previous album than the lead single off their newest album.

It’s not all bad thoguh.

One major highlight is “Forever Growing Centipedes.” This track features a more throbbing and vital bass-line, standing out for its more pronounced presence and clarity from synth lines. Stylistically approaching a more traditional punk attack. Combined with the extremely catchy chorus, this track really soars.

“Machine in the Ghost” is a good model for mid-tempo explorations of their style, a spectacularly choppy and cut-up track with one of the most deadly grooves on the album, extremely propulsive. “Get Seduced” is easily saved by its skittering synths. The 8-bit quirk of “Mirror Error” is just charming enough with the distorted oh-oh chorus to make you listen to it over and over.

All in all, this album is a very mixed bag. I can’t help but shake the feeling that the boys are struggling to figure out what to do with themselves and where they want to go with their music, while still maintaining the distinct Faint watermark. Any fan of the Faint will find the album is unmistakably the Faint…for better or worse. And in this vein, you won’t hear anything new from the boys, and will probably not find a new favorite track as these are pretty far from their best. Bearing this in mind, existing fans should still give it a spin. Soon-to-be fans would be better served digging up the back-catalog.

Related posts

  1. The Faint @ 9:30 Club[Audio clip: view full post to listen] MP3: The Faint...
  2. The Faint get remixed, drop new album next weekEsteemed dance-punkers the Faint have delivered some of the most...
  3. Photos: The Faint, Ladytron, Crocodiles @ Sonar (2009.04.15)The Faint Ladytron Crocodiles...
  4. Thrushes / Glasvegas Contest[Audio clip: view full post to listen] MP3: Glasvegas –...
  5. F Yeah Tour contest still going strong!!Our ticket giveaway for the F Yeah Tour is still...

3 Responses to “The Faint – Fasciinatiion (blank.wav)”

  1. Julia says:

    I want to dance for free!

  2. john bachman says:

    for my wife..she loves them!

  3. [...] Saved by sfsannoto on Fri 19-12-2008 Wicked Weekly: August 15 Saved by missay on Fri 19-12-2008 The Faint – Fasciinatiion (blank.wav) Saved by mrsharrypotter13 on Thu 18-12-2008 Bossanova Grand Prix Saved by saki on Sun 14-12-2008 [...]

Leave a Reply