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The Faint, ‘Fasciinatiion’ (Blank.Wav)

At first it just sounds like a bunch of ugly computer-mangled noises battling each other — arrangements so crammed with discord that the tracks practically deconstruct themselves, plus lyrics about pointless arguments, equally senseless wars, and other evils. The latest from these Nebraska dance rockers doesn’t instantly charm like the ’80s flashbacks found on 2001’s breakthrough, Danse Macabre. But its fixation on the present pays off with repeated plays as clashing guitar and keyboard hooks hammer home the Faint’s central theme — the chaos of a world in conflict.