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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Faint
Wet from Birth
Saddle Creek Records

Rating: 4.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
What does The Faint's Wet From Birth have in common with a virgin cocktail and sex with a condom? It promises a debauched person nothing more than disappointment although at least the cocktail leaves a good taste in one's mouth and sex with a condom offers one at least a 50/50 chance for an orgasm.

Wet From Birth fails miserably to leave its listener anything but one or two memorable hooks as it comes across as a surprisingly insipid, primitive new wave record created by veterans of cutting-edge, inventive no-wave, dark-wave, blank wave or whatever the fuck critics hipper-than-me call it. For lack of a better word, I'm just going to call this album's sound crap.

Without the ability to make these words audible, here's my best effort at explaining the difference between the beats of The Faint's brilliant previous LP, 2001's Danse Macabre, and Wet From Birth:

Danse Macabre: boom b-bobm-boom-boom boom b-b-boom b-bobm-boom-boom.

Wet From Birth: boom boom boom boom boom boom boom.

The Faint has either sold out to the dance club by making their beats so conventional that even the worst DJ can mix them with other dance tracks, or they have just run out of ideas altogether. I'll take the 50/50 chance at an orgasm before I place a bet on which is a more accurate.

There are no heavy grooves like those of Danse Macabre's "Your Retro Career Melted," no creative rhythms like Danse Macabre's "Violent. There are no genuinely dangerous, edgy, kitschy lyrics like in Blank-Wave Arcade's "Worked Up So Sexual" and "Casual Sex." Most disappointing of all, there are absolutely no classic Faint-esque moments, like the break down on "Cars Passing in Cold Blood," the synth hook of "Call Call," or the bedroom-readiness of "Glass Danse."

Instead, Wet From Birth listeners are treated to banal beats that may as well belong to Moby or No Doubt; lyrics that garner attention only because they are so terrible (See the brilliant chorus of "Erection," which goes "Oh/ Oh, oh/ Erection.") and only one song worth listening to more than once, "Southern Belles in London Sing," - which is, incidentally, the most organic track on the record, featuring acoustic guitar, a string section and minimal electronics.

While The Faint may not have provided the soundtrack for depravity that one may have expected, they have at least accomplished something with their latest record that will keep casual sex safe: they have produced a convincing case for abortion.

This "birth" should have never been.

Reviewed by Brian Sutherland
The last we heard, Brian Sutherland lived in Chicago. He\'s a friend of Sarah Peters. That is about all we know about him.

See other reviews by Brian Sutherland

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