April 30, 2014 by sshhoobbmmxxbblloogg
THE FAINT – Doom Abuse (LP)
Out on SQE Music
April 8th 2014
Six years is a long time, especially in music. Trends come and fads flitter away into the ether. What was the flavour of the month once is now akin to a rotten, fetid mess snubbed by indie snobs and buzzband hyping websites (no names, I can’t afford the lawsuits)
What will always rise to the top though, is the music. If the band is tight and the songs killer, you cant lose. Thats the theory anyway.
Nebraskan indiedancepunks (it’s a genre, Pitchfork, look it up) The Faint have come back in from the cold, expectation damning hearts in hand with the release of DOOM ABUSE. And frankly it’s like they never went anywhere, which is great because The Faint are skill.
The album starts in atonal gold with a distorted riff and then the synths, oh the synths! Driving pulsating buzzes and hums jockeying to the fore against a beat that hits you in the gut. Help In The Head, the opening track sounds part Rapture, part Add N To (X) and part, well… The Faint, obviously. It’s a newer take on their tested dance inflected indie noise, feedback and analogues fizzing around the headphones, filling every inch of your head with strange and beautifully freakish tones.
Mental Radio sounds like the lovechild of vintage Human League and New Order, all Empire State Human drones and Peter Hook-esque high end bass fills. Though it clearly has nods to early ’80s, it doesn’t sound dated or even like a homage, it merely takes what it needs and adapts it into post millennial synthpop. Salt My Doom is like Lightning Bolt fighting with ARE Weapons over who gets to cover some obscure Dischord record, all the while being live-remixed by HolyFuck. For me, it’s a definite stand out track, two minutes and nineteen seconds of angular, angsty noise-pop.
Dress Code sounds like The Contortions being run through a gameboy, which sounds awful as concept, but is legit one of the coolest fucking tracks I’ve heard in ages. Its all post punk bass and mangled vocals, snuggled against a beat that dares you to not get off your ass.
The final two tracks Unseen Hand and Damage Control perfectly bookend the album, the former an uptempo, noisy electronic piece, part HEALTH part classic synthpop sensibilites. The latter is a more docile affair, by no means slow or ineffectual, but possessing a cinematic, post-Drive soundtrack vibe, a pulsing beat and lingering bass tones, coupled with squeals of high end and an almost whispered, processed vocal.
All I can really say is that THE FAINT have yet again made an album showing obvious nods to important groups in both their own and music’s history, without once sounding like a cop out imitation.
Let’s just hope the next LP doesn’t take another six years, huh?