The Faint bring yet another installment of their new wave/dance/indie tunes to your ears with Fasciinatiion. Once a solid staple to Saddle Creek Records, the band parted ways in spring of 2008 stating they would be releasing material on their own label blank.wav. This is their first album in four years and is also the first to be entirely fashioned by The Faint. Fasciinatiion proves that this five-some has no problem doing things all by themselves.
Formed in Omaha, Nebraska around 1995 the band lured me in thanks to the release of 1999’s Blank Wave-Arcade. Their unique sound that had similarities to 80’s dance but with indie rock and even a little punk rock flair; something I had not found myself getting into before. Soon thereafter, I was listening to them on almost a daily basis. They were one of the original bands that introduced me to Saddle Creek records and helped get the indie label some well deserved recognition.
I was excited to check out their latest release seeing how I really have not listened to The Faint in quite some time. Fasciinatiion started out strong with “Get Seduced” refreshing me on their dance rock style. Their electronic rock music was not missed by my ears. It would appear even after four years the band still has it.
“The Geeks Were Right”, the band’s first single off the album, was my favorite track. The more indie pressed song reminded me of She Wants Revenge and Interpol, but heavy on the electronic side. The music video for the song is extremely interesting too almost visualizing what a Max Headroom acid flashback might look like. Even better there are remixes of this track floating around on the internet; my favorite was “The Geeks Were Right (Does It Offend You? Yeah Remix).
The album seemed to stray away from the Faint’s unique sound I had grown accustomed to with more experimental tracks like “Machine In The Ghost” and “Fulcrum And Lever”. The vocals were a tad too robotic for me and the sounds were too experimental and unhurried.
The funky “Psycho” saved the album for me as it took direction back away from the slow, unusual songs previously mentioned. Deep blimps and bleeps at the beginning of the song kind of exceeded it’s welcome, but soon it mellowed out building for an good listen. “I Treat You Wrong”, with poor lyrics, really was a good track but was nothing to dance about.
I really feel that The Faint created a roller coaster effect on Fasciinatiion. The album does not seem nearly as constant and up-tempo as prior releases nor was there any of that punk rock flair that could be heard on Wet From Birth. It is one of their more unique albums, but certainly not their best effort. I am not saying this album is bad, but it does not compare to their more recent efforts.