To understand Doom Abuse and its raw, visceral aesthetic you have to understand its birth story. You have to understand that after touring for a year on their 2008 self-released album Fasciinatiion, an album that took several years to write and produce, The Faint ceased to exist. The musicians were burned out, uninspired and could no longer find the most important element of any musical creation: fun. They went their separate ways, pursued other sorts of music in other projects, sometimes together and sometimes separately, and learned new ways of channeling sound. They remembered what drove their songwriting in the first place.
Then, in the spring of 2013, The Faint existed again. Anxious to make new music the band recorded a 4-song white label 12″ they referred to as “Preversions.” That music, primal and punk rock in its approach became the unplanned blueprint for Doom Abuse.
The band booked time with longtime collaborator Mike Mogis to mix the album before even really having songs written. There was no specific concept, just a sense of wanting to capture moments of real passion and invigorated glee. Whatever came out while writing in the band’s Omaha studio and rehearsal space would become their next album. Since much of Fasciinatiion was made sitting behind computers, the musicians wanted to embrace a live sensibility and collective rawness. A lot of the record was created live in the room, with first takes and first ideas taking precedent.
The entire album took about three months to create. It reflects specific experiences from a specific time and sounds unlike anything else. And in its final iteration, you can see the patterns in Doom Abuse‘s songs. The ideas and themes become clear. For Todd Fink, many of the album’s lyrics were created automatically in a stream of consciousness.
From boisterous, static-laced opener ‘Help in The Head’ to propulsive aggressor ‘Evil Voices’ to ambient and layered closer ‘Damage Control’, the album explores different various of The Faint as a live rock band. Their history as an innovative dance act lingers, years of obsession with crafting a new style for the dance floor seeping into each song, but here and now, the band wanted to make songs that capture the sheer power and collaborative nature of their onstage performances. The songs differ and balance each other out but all share the same space and overarching tone, another pattern seen after the fact.
The birth of Doom Abuse, in many ways, is in parallel with a rebirth of the band itself. The Faint, started in Omaha in the mid-’90s, have always created against the grain, disinterested in making anything except what their own inspiration drives them to make. Each album since their 1998 debut Media has shifted and evolved that desire. Some albums, like 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade, came from urgent, short recording processes while others, like 2004’s Wet From Birth, were more carefully constructed. The musicians themselves are the constant, together embracing a style that is truly unlike every other band out there. While Doom Abuse harkens back to Blank-Wave Arcade‘s immediacy in some ways, it opens a new door. Inside is exactly where The Faint want to be now.