The Faint

Blank-Wave Arcade

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The Faint's second album Blank-Wave Arcade delivers more choppy new-wave rhythms, spiky guitars, and acidic, old-school synths, with a little punk-rock attitude thrown in for good measure. While the group has been compared to the usual suspects, like Gary Numan, Devo, and the Cure, there is also a strong resemblance to Blur's new wave/punk fusion -- especially in singer Todd Baechle's staccato, faux-Brit delivery -- and the Normal's fascination with sex and cars pops up on the Faint's angular, uptight songs, especially "Sex Is Personal," "Worked Up So Sexual," and "Cars Pass in Cold Blood." "Victim Convenience" and "The Passives" are dystopian and futuristic, while "Sealed Human" presents a quieter, more interesting version of the band's sound, mixing a drumbeat that sounds like the purr of a touch-tone phone with modem-like synths and processed vocals. Though originality isn't their strong suit, the Faint do display an aggressive, dynamic reinterpretation of their influences, suggesting that their synthetic new wave can be just as entertaining as the real deal.

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