Wet from Birth

Wet from Birth

4.6 5
by The Faint
     
 

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With their 2001 album Danse Macabre, Omaha, Nebraska's, gothic new wave revivalists the Faint became the It Band of the moment, scoring an opening slot on No Doubt's tour, articles in Time and Rolling Stone, and intense college radio airplay. They also helped open the door for other likeminded bands, including

Overview

With their 2001 album Danse Macabre, Omaha, Nebraska's, gothic new wave revivalists the Faint became the It Band of the moment, scoring an opening slot on No Doubt's tour, articles in Time and Rolling Stone, and intense college radio airplay. They also helped open the door for other likeminded bands, including Hot Hot Heat and the Killers, to have national success. Taking three years to make a follow-up, the Faint are back with Wet from Birth, a fantastic-sounding record. Slashing guitars, gurgling synths, pulsing bass lines, real drums -- it's an irresistible mix. Just try not bobbing your head while listening to such stompers as "Desperate Guys," "Paranaoiattack," and "How Could I Forget?" Wet from Birth's standout cut, though, is "I Disappear," a retro-now classic if there ever was one. If the Killers' "Somebody Told Me" can become a hit on commercial radio and MTV, this song's a shoo-in. There are some missteps, however. "Erection" is a goofy Depeche Mode wannabe, and "Symptom Finger" veers a little too close to Dead or Alive's cheeseball hit "You Spin Me Round" for its own good. But when the Faint set their sights firmly on the dance floor -- which is most of the time -- Wet from Birth delivers the goods.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Since the breakout success the Faint had with 2001's Danse Macabre, the band's sound has become more mature and eclectic, as Wet from Birth, the group's fourth album, demonstrates. Relying less on overpowering synths and more on subtle electronics, prickly guitar work, and heavy, often chopped-up beats, the band sounds both more rock and more overtly electronic than it ever has before, while avoiding dated electroclash pitfalls. Though the Faint still mines the '80s for inspiration, the band seems to be moving forward, however slightly, with songs like album opener "Desperate Guys," which sets a typically Faint tale of sexual dysfunction to trilling violins, twanging guitars, and glitchy rhythms. The jabbing guitars on "I Disappear" have hints of dance-punk lurking around the edges -- which isn't really surprising, since the Faint has been influenced by new wave and post-punk since long before many of the new new wave revivalists existed -- and "Southern Belles in London Sing" enlists Azure Ray's vocals as a part of the song's fey, Baroque synth pop confection. But though Wet from Birth is the Faint's most modern and ambitious-sounding work, the album is let down too often by weak and predictable songwriting. The group's dystopian, Phillip K. Dick-goes-pop vision of dysfunctional relationships, conspicuous consumption, and corrupt politics is growing stale and overly jaded: "Symptom Finger"'s denouncement of as-seen-on-TV pharmaceuticals is well meaning and its throbbing, feverish synths are evocative, but clunky catch phrases like "telepharmavangelism" just get in the way. Likewise, "Paranoiattack" has the rhetorical thrust of !!! or Radio 4, but it comes a little too late to the (political) party. "Birth," a graphic remembrance of conception and being born, aspires to be powerful, but lyrics such as "my brain wouldn't fit through her organ of sex" just sound kind of ridiculous. Worse, throughout the album Todd Baechle's famously choppy, monotonous delivery sounds more dull than detached. Even though Wet from Birth occasionally gets tripped up on its own ambitions, it still has its share of enjoyable tracks: "Erection" might be a puerile in-joke, but its X-rated rewrite of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" is still undeniably fun; the dark, dubby "Phonecall" is a welcome addition to the ranks of stalker pop; and "Dropkick the Punks" does indeed kick things into gear in a way that should have happened more often on the album. Containing some of the Faint's best and worst moments, Wet from Birth is often a frustrating album; while the band's style is evolving, the Faint still needs to work on its substance.
Rolling Stone - James Hunter
1/2 The Omaha, Nebraska, quartet delivers spectacularly on the promise of its 2001 Dance Macabre with Wet From Birth.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/14/2004
Label:
Saddle Creek
UPC:
0648401006728
catalogNumber:
67
Rank:
292525

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Wet from Birth 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this cd, The Faint has come a long way and this cd is their best so far. They started out rock then went to techno and now they are at a happy medium between the two. This cd really is good, it is dark and very rockalish. One of the things that I like is that it's different, it's genre bending and unique. I would deffinitely reccommend it to anyone, Favorites: Dropkick the punks, How could I forget, Phone call, Desperate guys, Birth,
Guest More than 1 year ago
Listen to the first ten seconds of this CD and see if you're not hooked like I was. Desperate Guys is such a likable song -- catchy, yet edgy. The Faint has a punk sensibility mixed with an listener-friendly sound.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago