The Faint: Bachle (vocals, guitar); M. Bowen (vocals, bass); Joel Peterson (guitar); Clark Bachle (drums).
Additional personnel: The Faint Of Heart Children's Choir.
Recorded at Whoopass Recording, Lincoln, Nebraska.
The debut recording from Omaha, NE's the Faint is a far cry from the danceable, beat-heavy records the group went on to produce, but it is nonetheless a fine record and a worthy addition to the collection of anyone who enjoys the music that has come out of the band or their town's overflowing music scene. Bearing likeness to peers ranging from Cursive to Lullaby for the Working Class, as well as to influences like the Cure, Media is a rock record with new wave sentiments and melodic ideals. Vocalist Todd Baechle has a powerful presence, and his mildly affected vocals consistently build toward slightly abstract yet hook-laden choruses. Tracks like "Some Incriminating Photographs" feature bouncy drumbeats and loose guitars, and others, like "Lullaby for The...," contain uncharacteristic acoustic string arrangements. There are also plenty of songs that point clearly in the electronic direction the band would later head, but for the most part, Media is a rock record, and a good one at that. Jagged guitar lines take the lead on a number of tracks, and the mood is fairly dark, though at times the sheer genius of a song's refrain propels it toward a more triumphant plateau. Fans of the band's later expansive electro sounds may be disappointed by the polished rock act that surfaces on this disc, but the straightforward presentation proves that the members are just as talented without the aid of machines, and the memorable rock moments are so good they don't have to prove a thing. ~ Peter J. D'Angelo