The Faint – Doom Abuse

Good – but not great.

Label: SQE Music

Rating:

The Faint’s 2008 album, ‘Fasciinatiion’ was a little bit… well, lame. A massive disappointment. Not nearly as good as the band who gave the world the still magnificent ‘Danse Macabre’ should put out even on a bad day. And it’s as if the Nebraskan synth-punks knew it: shortly after the record’s release, they – as the official word goes - “ceased to exist”.

‘Doom Abuse’ is then as much a surprise to the band as it is to us – and it’s a pleasant surprise, at least. There’s snippets of the blistering punk last heard in 2004’s ‘Wet From Birth’ in undoubted stand-out, the brilliant ‘Salt My Doom’, as well as the almost-as-frenetic ‘Dress Code’ with its computerised vocals, and the surf guitar-laden ‘Mental Radio’. There’s also a nod to their darker side with the suitably bonkers ‘Your Stranger’, and closer ‘Damage Control’ is the best kind of album closer, its slower pace, morning-after theme and epic sounds somewhat of a curveball when placed next to the rest of ‘Doom Abuse’.

So it’s good – but not great. Save for the verses being more indicative of The Faint’s early releases, ‘Lesson from the Darkness’ is largely forgettable, as is the fairly standard ‘Loss of Head’ and ‘Scapegoat’, which at times resembles an Andrew WK live backing track.

Still, nobody presents a cacophony of synthetic noise quite like The Faint, and for that the world should still feel a little gratitude.
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