The faint has always been a band seeking a higher-consciousness while wading around in the shallow waters of synth-pop. Riding a wave of '80s nostalgia, they've used danceable electronic beats as a subterfuge for their potent and topical lyrics. The same strategy is employed on Fasciinatiion, their first CD since leaving Saddle Creek Records for the greener pastures of their own blank.wav label. They've shed the lush symphonic strings and punk influence of their last release Wet From Birth and in its place tapped into more computerized and industrial sounds.
Never shy when it comes to a composition, the Faint's music is sonically complex. Guitars and synthesizers meld together with infectious driving drums. And Fasciination is even more ambitious. Every note sounds tweaked and warped, giving the songs an almost inhuman or mechanical edge. Adding to the cold and clinical feeling are the vocals of frontman Todd Fink, vocodered almost into the realm of sci-fi robot.
All of it makes for a great medium for their lyrics which focus on our world's shaky foundation. This time out, the guys tackle celebrity and our need for all things tabloid ("Get Seduced"), relationship meltdowns ("Psycho," "I Treat You Wrong") and lost childhood innocence ("Fulcrum and Lever"). The best track, however, is the closer, "A Battle Hymn for Children," which is a sobering observation of a man's journey before, during and after becoming a soldier. And that's the great thing about Fasciinatiion. It gets the listener to tap toes, bounce to a beat and maybe even think a little about the current state of the nation.
Monday, Dec. 15, at the Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700.
Paul Knoll writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.