’90s alternative rock group The Faint has released a new album that surely lives up to its name. Doom Abuse is a sad, noisy, electro-punk record that will musically abuse your ear drums. Ravers and dance-punk enthusiasts will definitely be doomed listening to this hyper, irritating, electronic shit-fest infected with horrendous, filtered vocals and insipid, ’80s-influenced rock anthems.
Doom Abuse contains 12 tracks that sound stale and repetitive, despite the ever-present, aggressive rave vibe. The Faint probably imagines listeners dancing to its album at a club or house party—most of the songs start off with a simple beat or a note thumping incessantly, followed by a mix of hardcore punk and electro-pop.
Sadly, this combination just comes off as cheesy. The Faint tries to evoke a badass persona, but ends up looking like a 12-year-old showing off his “swag.” It’s painful to watch.
The lyrics limit the band’s potential; they’re not witty or memorable, and a 10-year-old could probably write more imaginatively.
The first track, “Help in the Head,” starts off with distorted guitar feedback and then descends straight into chaos. The intriguing guitar chords, heavy beats, and singer Todd Fink’s colorful vocals don’t save this song, which could have been a decent track if not for the chorus.
Fink bellows repeatedly, “I just met you/You need help in the head/You don’t know what I think I said.” Instead of provoking or stimulating the brain, the lyrics evoke stupidity that’s more hilarious than righteous.
Fortunately, The Faint redeems itself a bit with the fifth track, “Animal Needs.” The lyrics are intriguing: “We don’t need cars, we don’t need pools, we don’t need trophies, we don’t need jewels, we don’t need soap,” suggesting the band is comfortable living like cave men, rejecting modern luxuries. A sweet, deep melody rumbles in the foreground of the song, which sounds much darker and more haunting than any other track on Doom Abuse.
Ironically, The Faint uses electronics and machines to explore the idea of a life without those things. The delicious irony and surrealistic nature of “Animal Needs” gives The Faint a much-needed saving grace.
Unfortunately, “Animal Needs” is the only rare gem that will stick in the brain. Every other track is a mindless warp of unpleasant, laser-like techno beats clashing with noisy guitars and drums. Doom Abuse is probably best to play when everyone is either tipsy or high at a rave, since it’s a mindless album that will charm only an ignorant crowd.
The Faint – Doom Abuse tracklist:
- “Help in the Head”
- “Mental Radio”
- “Evil Voices”
- “Salt My Doom”
- “Animal Needs”
- “Loss of Head”
- “Dress Code”
- “Your Stranger”
- “Lesson from the Darkness”
- “Unseen Hand”
- “Damage Control”