music / Shows

The Faint.

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Words and Photos compliments of Jenny Price

While walking through the empty floor of Ace of Spades, attempting to dry off my glasses and fix what was left of my weave, I knew that even if the rain messed up my face and even if I stumbled over every single word during the interview that was about to happen, things would probably be okay. Why, you ask? Well kids, I was on my way to talk with the guys from The Faint and check something off the bucket list I made when I was 20.

The first time I heard The Faint was driving downtown to my small studio apartment with a car full of clean clothes and a CD burned by my sister’s boyfriend. I figured, what the heck, even if it was garbage it would at least give me something to make fun of the next day when I went to work as an overly cocky cashier at Tower Records (by the way, making five-something an hour rewards you with nothing other than the ability to believe you really are cooler than people with real jobs, and health insurance). But alas, halfway through Sex is Personal, I mentally high-fived this kid. Working at record stores gives you one thing, other than a bad attitude, it’s an appreciation and undying love for music. At the time, I was on the cusp of being a nut job, with my three most played genres being pop, emo, and synth. So let’s just say finding an album that combined all of these things (but made me not want to die) was pretty cool. Now let’s fast forward to the present.

This tour wasn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill one, but one where they were playing one of their most well-known albums, Danse Macabre, in its entirety – including Violent, which I found out from Clark Baechle (drummer), and Dapose (guitarist) is rarely played live because it’s long, and may be seen as more prog-rock. The tour was sparked because of the reissue of their 2001 album which now includes four new songs for the fans of old, and new, to enjoy.

If you were like me, and somewhat curious if these new songs would be a huge drift from the “classic” sound of The Faint (if there is even such a thing), fear not. The tracks are most definitely in true Faint fashion. There is the poppy, fast one, and the other, darker ones – each song is really different from the others and it may not be what people are hoping for. Todd Fink (vocalist/keyboardist) and Baechle agree that there’s one that people may like and there’s probably three that people won’t. All of that aside, Dapose assures us that we’re “going to wear that record out.”

My initial apprehension was caused from the change in sound from Blank Wave Arcade/Danse Macabre and the later albums of Wet From Birth/Fasciinatiion. At the time, it was seen as a disconnect that a lot of people didn’t necessarily like. Fink explains “we’re always trying something new, but sometimes it turns out more new than other times…we try to make it fun, but not fun like a joke.” As the boys agree, they are no Dream Theater. Evolution is mandatory.

Four years after the release of Fascinnatiion gives one a lot of time to think and come to the conclusion that – hey guys, those last two albums weren’t bad. The Geeks Were Right and Hypnotised (though on a Saddle Creek compilation) are now two of my favorite songs. I think it just goes back to being a stubborn 20-something and wanting something new, yet the same, and different, but familiar. Apparently, we were all in the same phase, because now the Faint comes up on my “party jams” playlist more often than not.

Venturing back onto the floor of the venue, knowing that I had somewhat kept my composure, I rewarded myself with a two dollar beer.(which in the long run is a lot, but at a venue in the Bay Area I’d pay 2.5 times that) I will take my local Sacramento club where beer is cheap and the women are easy on the eyes. After closing my tab, I heard the oh-so familiar roar of the crowd and knew it was time to do this dance and apologize to my cheeks for all the smiling that was about to happen. The show was amazing, as I knew it would be. Sacramento may not be San Francisco, but I’ll take the empty streets knowing I can eventually end up at a dive bar with some dudes from Omaha – no, not 311.

For more information on The Faint or to purchase Danse Macabre (Deluxe Edition): http://www.thefaint.com

Ace of Spades is located at 1417 R St, Sacramento 95811

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