Sunday, August 31, 2008

Get Seduced

I suppose it's possible to call The Faint cult legends. Forming in 1997, they've just released five albums, have a rabid fanbase, play blistering and unique live shows and have made no impact on the mainstream. They are one of my favourite bands and have been for longer than almost any other band, excluding No Doubt, of course. I first saw them playing live with Radio 4 at the Barfly in Glasgow in 2002. It was my first over 18 gig and I was absolutely terrified of getting turned away and having to go back to Edinburgh, unaccomplished.

Six years on The Faint are back with their fifth album Fasciinatiion. The Faint (or not so) quietly pioneered modern electro punk or indietronica or nu wave or no wave or electroclash or nu rave or indie rave or whatever you want to call it. Their 1999 album Blank Wave Arcade meshed the synthetic sounds of new wave with the energy of punk and the beats of dance music, and since then they've made some of the most dark and exhilerating music that's passed through my ears. Fasciinatiion sees them building on their blueprints, pushing their sound forward with even more advanced and experimental production, all the while showcasing pop songs of the highest vintage.

They played at Cargo in London on Friday night and it was WILD. Lately everything has been a bit folky on the gig front and generally very calm and civilised. The Faint were an injection of life, sex, danger. With strobe lighting pointing upwards, video projections, rrrrrrrraw energy and, oh yeah, amazing songs, they tore apart the sold out venue. Lead singer Todd Fink (he married Orenda Fink and took her surname - aw!) was all over the stage, wearing a white lab coat and goggles, while the rest of the band hammered on synths, spat out penetrating basslines and popped their bodies to the incendiary beats. By the end of the gig I was wet from the whole room's sweat. I'll be sure to see them when they're back in November. Meanwhile, check their tour dates and book yourself a date with the night when they hit your town.

posted by Robbie de Santos at 8/31/2008 06:37:00 pm


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