There was a time when Saddle Creek Records was my favourite record label in the whole world. Bright Eyes, Cursive, Desaparecidos, The Good Life, Rilo Kiley, Two Gallants. They were releasing the best work all of these names have ever released, and they even managed to avoid releasing the piece of utter crap remix album The Faint did of the entire Danse Macabre album. Astralwerks had to suck on that one.
That mad indie-remix-album trend almost made me hate bands like Bloc Party and Death From Above 1979, whose Silent Alarm and You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine, and even The Faint’s previous album, Blank-Wave Arcade, were totally destroyed. Someone must have been flashing a crack load of tits and coke in front of their faces when these decisions were made.
Thankfully Saddle Creek isn’t to blame for Doom Abuse, as The Faint have split with their label after almost 20 years as loyal companions. This one is on SQE, the poor bastards. That being said, this too is a mighty fine label most of the time. But what’s even more of a pity is that Doom Abuse isn’t much better than the catastrophic remix albums. Six years after the very mediocre and annoyingly titled Fasciination, this is the sound of a band that has absolutely no relevance in any way in 2014. It’s a noisy one, which could be a good thing. It’s not a good thing here. It’s got the familiar voice of Todd Fink, whose presence saves the day for Doom Abuse a few times.
Their last great work was the amazing Wet From Birth, almost ten years ago now. It would be easy to say that the zeitgeist ran away from these guys, but they just stopped making good songs, and that’s even worse and less forgivable. I’ll forgive them anything though, and there are two tunes here that I really like – “Lesson From The Darkness” and “Help In The Head”. Quirky enough to be interesting, and when the hooks hit they’re even kind of awesome.
An album by The Faint without proper hooks is no proper album. That’s just the way it is. It doesn’t matter how delicate it’s all put together. But there’s still hope. If “Drop Kick The Punks” is your all time favourite track by The Faint, mostly because of the aesthetics of the track, you might like some of this more than most people will. I will always go back to Danse Macabre and Wet From Birth. Always. But I will never ever listen to Doom Abuse again. By far one of the most pointless and unnecessary releases this year.