The Faint

Mike Mantin 28/11/2004

Be thankful, fat indie kids, for 2004 has seen a wave of über-cool live acts forcing you to shake your booty and maintain your cred at the same time: Franz Ferdinand, Radio 4… and now The Faint. Although they've been active for some time now, this year's sublime Wet From Birth has really exposed their potential. Live, they are even more explosive. Heavily made-up singer Todd Baechle adds a strong drone to the rampant electroclash that accompanies it, whilst throwing some shapes as the audience coos. An icon in the making? Maybe, on tonight's evidence.

A good three quarters of Wet From Birth is bashed out tonight, from the overtly sexual Birth (backed by projections on two screens depicting the birds and the bees) to the dancefloor-alighting pop of I Disappear and Southern Belles In London Sing. Also present is the cream of their terrific post-Conor Oberst album, Danse Macabre, such as the enormously applauded Agenda Suicide. Most intriguing, however, is their version of Psycho Killer, in which the Talking Heads standard is mauled by grating synths and thunderous guitars. But instead of murdering it, they breathe some new blood into its art-rock veins, turning a great song with dated production into an electropunk beauty. 2005 could see an impressively large audience finding what they've been silently waiting for: an evil Franz Ferdinand. The Faint are that and so much more.