Only The Faint could compel a review of a ‘best of’ compilation out of us.
How do you review a ‘best of’ collection, though? I mean, really? Do you focus on any new, rare tracks included? Rando remixes? Or just focus on what’s supposedly “best”? And again, if this was any other band I probably wouldn’t have touched it review-wise. But here we are so let’s find out as we go.
For starters, CAPSULE:1999-2016 has everything you’d want from a ‘best of’ compilation from The Faint: obscure gems (“Take Me To The Hospital”), brand new cuts (We’ll get to those three later), and the “classics” (“Agenda Suicide”, “The Geeks Were Right”). The greatest thing about CAPSULE , though, is the mix and order. Like the best electro mixtape for the greatest night ever, CAPSULE captures the spirit of The Faint spanning six albums and countless singles in just those nineteen tracks.
Even crazier is how well the ebb and flow is between a track that was originally released in 1999 into one released almost a decade later. How easily “Evil Voices” from 2014’s Doom Abuse seamlessly segues into “The Conductor” from 2001’s Danse Macabre. Or how “Call Call” from 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade easily glides into “Southern Belles in London Sing” from 2004’s Wet From Birth.
Go so far as to say CAPSULE is like listening to the ultimate setlist even! You know those ‘best of’ compilations that start from the beginning of a band’s history and go to the current state of the band and how, more often than not, you’re always like “That doesn’t even sound like the same band”. Not the case with The Faint. One listen through CAPSULE and new and old fans will immediately agree how on it The Faint were from the start.
And as for those new tracks? Oh boy are they good! Much like the EP that preceded Doom Abuse, the tracks on here completely whet the new music/album appetite. “Young & Realistic” is The Faint incarnate…it bounces and beeps and boops with a sonic landscape that is beyond grand as Fink’s mechanical accented delivery just makes everything even better. “Skylab1979” is like a futuristic rollercoaster ride while “ESP” is like something out of the original Tron (Or something by SURVIVE if you wanna be current).
Unlike a lot of ‘best of’ comps that mark a great point in a band’s career, CAPSULE sees The Faint at the cusp of a new era of greatness as proven by the new tracks premiered within. For fans of The Faint, this is obviously a must-have. If you’ve never heard The Faint (That’s a whole other conversation and a half, though), this is the primer you never knew you needed.
CAPSULE:1999-2016 is out through Saddle Creek on September 30th. Pre-orders are up here now and includes instant downloads of “Skylab1979” and “Young & Realistic”. And be sure to catch The Faint on the road this fall with Gang of Four. For dates and more, head here.