The Faintest Ideas
What Goes Up Must Calm Down
Hyphenated punk sub-genres are really starting to make me cringe. Pop- and dance- are generally the worst offenders, but with so many bands still plundering the vast soundscapes of post- even it’s starting to get a little tired. Thankfully Sweden’s The Faintest Ideas give their album a strong breath of fresh air by keeping it simple and shambolic. Fighting the tendency to give their songs a Protools sheen, nearly all of the tracks on What Goes Up Must Calm Down have varying levels of production clarity, inconsistent mix levels and vocal discernibility. The spry and lo-fi bursts of two-minute mania are just what this kind of music needs. Stripped down to its roots of goofy, yelped teenage drama, a muddied rhythm section and tinny guitar leads — check out the “solo” of four second guitar feedback on “All Stars” — the band has all the feverish makings of a great album. Standing out among a charming lack of pretense, “Dexter’s Got a Sinister Heart” and “Nosebleeders on the Track” capture the immediacy of Gang of Four more honestly than the 2004 revival and the closer “Lose the Downside” slows the propulsion to a slow jangle, carving out a melancholy Felt-esque niche to curl up in and bask in the remnants of the previous whirlwind. Unassuming and brilliant.
Magic Marker Records: www.magicmarkerrecords.com