The Faint's dystopian paeans to dysfunctional, metaphorically "mechanized" relations unfold beneath gloomy analog burble and synthetic beats. It's not exactly ironic, nor is it particularly poignant at this point, though it may not matter after a dozen years building a passionate following. While the band's fifth studio LP, Fasciinatiion, returns to sputtering Gary Numan-inspired robotic backdrops after 2004's more guitar and "ec"-centric Wet from Birth, it fails to capture the bristling energy of 2001's breakthrough, Danse Macabre. It retains some of Birth's experimentation, and is more engaging than that mismatched mess, but overall doesn't sustain its inspired moments. However, The Faint typically deliver high-energy performances that transform the crowd into a throbbing, booty-waving riot. That, as much as anything, keys their long-term success.
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