When DJing there is a strange thing that happens the next day. I usually wake up with bits and pieces of the previous night’s setlist swirling around my head. Almost an audio aftertaste. This also happens when I listen to albums for review. I hear bits and pieces of other songs and I start to see similarities in style and sound. I can hear influences of other bands and regional cultures (subcultures). I hear how bands sculpt their songs by their surrounding political, social and economic climates.
I have been a fan of The Faint for years. While cutting my teeth in the underground labyrinths of the Punk and Hardcore genres I have always thought of The Faint as an Post Hardcore band with Electronica/New Wave tendencies. With every one of The Faint’s releases prior I have always listened to the album with that in mind. Egowerk has me reevaluating my outlook. They have morphed into an electropunk (is that even a thing? It is now…) band that speaks to the danceable punk side of me.
“Child Asleep” opens the album up and straightway it starts pounding. For the first half of the song it reminds me of “Silent Shout” by The Knife. Then, about the 2 minute mark it phases out and then you are hit with an Kanye West arsenal of bass bullets. By minute 3 you are reintroduced to the “Silent Shout” melody mashed with bass bullets.
“Chameleon Nights” is another danceable song. This is closer to The Faint that we see on other albums. Todd Fink’s lyrics delivers Egowerk’s message clearly on this track. The toxic battle ground that the Internet has become. If you don’t blend in you are in danger. This sentiment is echoed throughout the album.
“Young & Realistic” is a straight four to the floor dance song. Songs like this are why I say that this is a slight stylistic shift for The Faint. This is more danceable than some of their earlier efforts. It is as if they were playing New Wave with dance pop melodies and have now play straight Electronica.
In the Titled track “Egowerk” singer Todd Fink’s vocals glide over an almost clockwerk melody that signifies the time being drained as he is taking a hard look at and critiquing society’s use of social media. //The toxic tongue/The song unsung/Feel the rage manipulate/Just beyond the looking glass/Down the tunnel go as Alice/We’ve got our heads in dirt!/I’ve been watching the eeego werk/I’ve been watching the eeego werk/Darkness is a perspective/And we’ve got our heads in dirt//
Egowerk nods to the synthpop classic band Kraftwerk. Much like their mentors, The Faint have taken pop melodies and wrapped them up into a danceable album. Is this album worth the money? Yup! I have mine on order and I think if you like The Faint then you will not be disappointed.