Due to media snafus too boring to recount, my interview with The Faint was reduced to an e-mail exchange. Chit-chat doesn't translate without proper emoticons, so when I inquired who bassist Joel Peterson thought would win the World Series, he quipped, "I never cared much for football."
Smart-ass indie fag. Ironic poseur. Rude e-mail tart.
The Faint, the underground's favorite dance-punk kids from Omaha, Neb., have a new album out called Wet From Birth-a reference to the amniotic and uterine residue on a newborn's ears. It's a far cry from the darkly tongue-in-cheek predecessor, Danse Macabre. On Wet from Birth, their ironic sense of humor is on full display.
Straight-forward entries about sex abound. There's "Erection," which, as advertised, is about the rigid male penis. An entirely different song includes a raccoon-penis-bone-grinding-on-muffler solo. That entry, called "Birth," is sung form the various stages of human life, starting with the spermatozoon: "Through a tunnel of mucus/ and onto a vault/ with tourists and traffic/ I just paced myself."
For an indie, The Faint's work ethic is decently Homeric (Simpson, that is)-a paltry four albums in six years. Peterson says they've embraced a slow process because they prefer to "sort of wait until something sparks with all of us, rather than force something that one of us might not be into."
Inspiration, apparently, can strike at any time, from any source-such as from the reproductive bone of a rodent. It just doesn't strike with haste, which may be due to the fact that they live in fucking Omaha.
"In the art/music/fashion world, we tend to hear about things at least a year after they are hot on the coasts, which I think in turn gives us a more outside perspective on things rather than being caught up in the moment," said Peterson.
Such an outside perspective might explain why The Faint was conceived as "lite rock," a style opposed to the aggressive music the members loved. By the time of their 1998 debut, Media, they had thankfully moved on to a mix of indie-rock styles. A synthesizer overhaul came next with Blank-Wave Arcade, the band almost embarrassingly embracing everything '80s. After touring relentlessly behind their third effort, Danse Macabre, they hooked up with Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley) to produce their newest album.
The most song-oriented project to date, Wet from Birth is everything you'd expect from the stylistic schizophrenics-it just kicks a little more ass. It's nubile music packed with sweaty basement club beats, the kind of stuff that makes desperately punk kids erect. BThe Faint play with TV on the Radio at Soma, 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 13. $16. 619-226-7662.