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It’s not surprising that Omaha quartet the Faint chose to reissue its 2001 opus, Danse Macabre, in 2012; the group is one of many who released anniversary editions of old LPs last year, including Interpol and Rage Against the Machine. But revisiting Danse Macabre offers a reminder that the Faint has always occupied a weird spot in music. Formed in the mid-’90s, the band signed to Saddle Creek—Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst was part of the earliest lineup—but released electro-inflected records distinctly at odds with the label’s folk- and emo-leaning roster.
Within the larger indie-rock scene, the Faint remained outsiders: too enamored of synths for the so-called garage-rock revival led by the Strokes and the White Stripes, too rock-oriented to be part of the budding electroclash movement. But that might be why Danse Macabre holds up as well as it does: Its dark, pulsating tunes are as danceable as ever, with songs like “Agenda Suicide”—featuring lyrics about grinding yourself down at a soulless job “to get that pretty little home”—remaining relevant a decade later.
To celebrate the reissue—which includes bonus tracks and a DVD of rare concert footage—the Faint took Danse Macabre on the road, playing the 35-minute record in sequence. The group’s electropunk ethos comes alive during a gig, which is often a sweaty, glorious mess of music and frenetic dancing (both from the band and the audience). We can only hope the Coachella crowds will abandon any too-cool-to-dance posing for the rockers' Sunday sets.—Amy Plitt
The Faint plays Coachella Sunday April 14 and Sunday April 21.
Download Danse Macabre on Amazon
Download Wet From Birth on Amazon
Follow Amy Plitt on Twitter: @plitter
Portions of this article originally appeared in Time Out New York on December 6, 2012.
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