Been in a bit of a mood today, so I thought I’d post something at little left of skewed. This track’s called “Damage Control,” and comes from Nebraska’s The Faint, an electro indie pop act that turns synths into weapons of post-punk discordance and proto-industrial melody. They’ve been around since the mid ’90s, but really hit their stride at the turn of the millennium, riding high, up and through the mid ’00s.
They’ve had a few ups and downs, but they’re still forging tunes today, somewhat frenzied and furious, mostly subversive and pseudo-aggro, tonally electronic and rhythmically steamrolled, yet still listenable in a hyper hypnotic sort of way. See the “Just Like Heaven” post I did a few months back. The Faint were there, in top form, performing classics like “Paranoiattack” and “Glass Danse,” as well as a few from their latest LP “Egowerk.” Their songs are short, so even in a limited festival setting, they can shine with many selections.
Anyway, enough with the introductions. “Damage Control” actually sounds like nothing I just described – unless, or course, you slow it down to quarter speed, and make the necessary adjustments so it doesn’t sound like a drunken slur. This one actually kinda reminds me of something L.A. favorites Cold Showers might concoct. It’s got that retro sound, vintage and nostalgic, but wrapped up tightly in a ball of loud synth-drenched dirge and repressed melody. It’s definitely in the coldwave world, free from happy fluffy vibes, slightly warped and teetering in an off-kilter sonic wobble.
But curiously, it’s also one of The Faint’s more accessible tunes. Probably because it’s paced for access, rather than aggression, or at least, what counts for the speedy and severe. I never quite considered The Faint an angry band, even if that seems like the portrait I’m painting … just intense, infusing maximized energy in their songcraft, and certainly their live shows.
Like I said, though, “Damage Control” takes a different path, holding back a bit of the manic for a more subdued affair, intensity doled out in measured increments and grinding crawls. And at the moment, that fits my mood. Perhaps, someday, I’ll post some additional clips of The Faint’s more recent Roxy Theatre stint that shows off some of what I’m talking about. I just haven’t got around to it, and I’ve also been on the fence about the footage quality. I’ll think about it, because they really are quite good live. They didn’t play this song, though. Mostly just the higher energy stuff.
In the meantime, enjoy this one. Here’s “Damage Control” from The Faint.
“Damage Control” from the 2014 album “Doom Abuse”