Amid the musical miasma that was the mid-‘90s Omaha, Neb. rock scene, a band of self-proclaimed “lite-rockers” formed Norman Bailer and churned out generic indie-rock ditties that were ultimately uninspiring and forgettable. Norman Bailer would eventually melt back into the primordial protoplasm of revolting rock from whence it came.
But after the meltdown, Norman Bailer would evolve. After a reassessment of its musical stylings and the state of rock music, the band decided to set itself apart from the hordes of proggy indie bands who performed statuesque on stage and invoked the same stagnancy from the audience. The band added some synthesizers, began producing punky new-wave lo-fi rock and changed their name to The Faint.
Their first synth-driven album, Blank-Wave Arcade, glimpsed a band that felt more like an ‘80s inspired gritty basement-show band rather than The Faint’s current incarnation of anthemic dance club hit makers. But compared to past releases, Blank-Wave Arcade was a milestone for the band and offered a distinct, energetic sound in an otherwise indistinguishable sea of bland indie bands.
After adding former death metal guitarist Dapose to its line-up while recording Blank-Wave’s follow-up album Danse Macabre and its third release Wet From Birth, the band began churning out the amazingly innovative synth-rock that has become a staple in club scenes across the country.
A far cry from merely playing more ‘80s-style music on the contemporary scene, The Faint infuses it’s new wave influences with originality and an ultra-modern rock sensibility and their seizure-inducing live show is not to be missed. (Phil Fuller)
The Faint and Passage at The Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.theglasshouse.us. $10.