The Faint - Wet From Birth (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Faint

Wet From Birth (2004)

Saddle Creek

This album took three years to make?

That's pretty much the thought that keeps popping into my mind, with spin after spin of the Faint's Wet From Birth, their third album as synth-punkers and fourth album overall. While this is sure to be a hit at the next dance party you throw at your apartment, the 35-minute, 10-song disc frankly comes off as half-assed in numerous points. This is a band that has seemingly completed their evolutionary cycle and are stuck in a holding pattern.

Wet From Birth, if nothing else, is a filthy album. Like, filthy filthy. Like, I'd be embarassed if my mom heard me listening to some of these tracks ("Birth" and "Erection," I'm looking your way). The lyrics are crude Beastie-Boy-isms from 1985 (which is interesting, because for some reason, "Drop Kick The Punks" always makes me think of the B-Boys' "Sabotage," it's strange). Todd Baechle's lyrics have never been the band's strong suit per se, but at least with Blank Wave Arcade, the sex theme lyrically was funny; here, it's just stomach-turning.

The band has proclaimed the album as both more and less dancy, and this holds true. The disc has some total rave-up moments (see "Southern Belles In London Sing" or the token 9/11 song, "Paranoiattack"), but there's also songs on here that are so stuttered, I have no clue how New Yorkers will dance to it (but I'm sure they'll find a way regardless). Funnily enough, the ones that are the most dancy have the best lyrics, and the least dancy ones the worst. I'd much rather have it be the other way around.

It's frustrating to watch a band who was so creative on their past two albums falter here; one can only hope that it's a temporary burp in originality. The thing is, if it takes another three years to find out, I'm liable to forget about these Omaha residents completely.

I Disappear
Drop Kick The Punks [clip]