Music with a motif. Not only that, but it is something that you will find yourself dancing to. I am obviously talking about the industrial new-wave 80s revival band The Faint. If you are new to this band, then there is a test to see if you will like them. Do you have a tattoo of Depeche Mode on your chest? Are you listening to Tears For Fears right now? Do you want to kick Marilyn Manson in the balls for all of the terrible 80’s remakes? If yes is answered to any of these questions, well then you are a possible fan! Hooray!
This review is of the bands newest endeavor, Wet From Birth (hereafter being labeled WFB). WFB is a slight turn away from what generally made them as well known a band as before. This is good news for those who like to see a band evolve/change. However, the news is terrible for those who want to hear a carbon copy of Danse Macabre, as this album showcases a different version of The Faint, just remember that not all changes are bad.
What is similar?
They still make tunes that are dancey as hell. It’s hard to deny the catchy hooks of Paranoiattack, I Disappear, or Drop Kick the Punks. There are still the grossly un-metaphorical lyrics of Birth with lines like “wet like a cherry in the bloodbath of birth" are so uncannily beautiful you will wonder why you ever thought that Worked Up So Sexual was their best song ever (or at least it was that way for me). They still also keep up a tradition that will hopefully change by their newest album, and that is their incredibly short album lengths. This album clocks in at around 35 minutes, definitely leaving one the feeling of wanting more.
What is different?
This album feels a bit less dark. Many of the songs use lower notes and tones within the album, and the bass is most definitely prominent throughout, but there seems to be more synth used as well. This moves us to the sad fact that although the songs are dancey as hell, they just aren’t as much so as from their earlier efforts. There are also a surprising amount of stringed instruments within this album, and yes you did read that sentence correctly. Songs such as Desperate Guys and Southern Belles in London Sing have these instruments used highly effectively giving a distinctive industrial feel. WFB also has a “unique" redone song which will be covered later in the review. The main negative change is that the instruments seem to have taken a bit of a backseat in this album, which usually leads to only one thing…overproduction. (gasp!) Let’s not hope that will ever happen.
Hopefully from this you can decide if you want to hear the new Faint, but alas, I digress. It has been almost a page and I really haven’t covered that much directly from the album WFB.
Although it does have almost the CD length of your average pop album, it is a great musical experience. They cover many fields and genres within a short amount of time. There are obviously copious amounts of 80’s, but there is also a strong taste of industrial, and even some classical jived in there for fun. Even many of the darker songs on the album are counter-acted with a more lighthearted song. Well, lighthearted for The Faint, anyways. The pseudo-political themed Paranoiattack, plays right before the hilarious, Drop Kick the Punks. The drumming, is top-notch as usual. Not overly innovative, but suits the music perfectly, as 80’s synth-pop should. The bass is phenomenal, as mentioned earlier, has a prominent place in the album, a fad I hope other bands will catch onto. The song that best showcases the talent of the rhythm section is I Disappear. The vocals/lyrics are quite well done, especially the album closer, Birth. I have never been one to judge guitars well, but it seems to get the job done, especially in songs like Drop Kick the Punks and Erection. The synth, well, if it wasn’t awesome, they couldn’t be making awesomely tasty dance grooves…
The motif is quite as strong overall on this album, as it seems to only stray away from birth with the songs Drop Kick the Punks and Paranoiattack. (NOTE: It could be quite possible that I am misinterpreting these songs, hey it happens, damn it) It really feels like a journey with being a Desperate Guy, to having an Erection, to finally reaching Birth. I would go deeper into the motif, but it just takes very simple listens to understand what they are talking about. That is what gives this band most of their charm, not many bands speak their point straightforward so intelliegently.
A good way to see if you (the reader) will appreciate this album is to listen to their first single, I Disappear. I believe it sums up the album quite well as a whole, and if you like it, then go further into seeking this album out for purchase. If not, then go and listen to other music that probably isn’t as good, because you have taste. (That IS a joke by the way…)
Drop Kick the Punks
Tracks to loathe/hate
None actually, they are all good, some are just great.
Overall: It is a pretty darn good album; I could say the only thing that really hinders it from being perfect is the album length. I highly suggest buying it!