Wet From Birth

The charm of the Faint is that it makes indie kids dance.

The charm of the Faint is that it makes indie kids dance. The act's latest, "Wet From Birth," undoubtedly re-establishes its penchant for synthy dance-rock and none-too-subtle lyrics. Where the Faint falls short, though, is its lack of daring; even with the welcome addition of strings (apropos of its cinematic live show) and varying styles, "Wet From Birth" sounds contained and merely likeable, lacking the uncontrollable seductiveness of songs like "So Sexual" from the band's earlier album "Blank-Wave Arcade." Not to say the Faint compromised its arty, original sound, but there's something to be said for spontaneity. Just growling the word "revolution" (on "Drop Kick the Punks") doesn't make a punk anthem, and an entire song about erections—and not the monument sort—is more skip-able than innovative. Though single "Desperate Guys" and the raucous "Symptom Finger" have staying power, the Faint seems to be almost too aware of what it does well.—KH

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