Sunday, January 28, 2007

Agenda Suicide (2001) – The Faint

(Part Five of the Damned If You Work and Damned If You Don’t hexology)

The Faint’s implements of demoralization—ominous bass synth, fidgeting scrapes of guitar, mechanical beat, snide vocals—approximate a gothic Duran Duran grown intolerant of bourgeois materialism. The Faint mean to admonish that being a slave to an agenda as a means to the end of affording a quaint home in the suburbs is tantamount to spiritual death. Emboldened by the discharge of grainy sawtooth synth and hissing hi-hats, vocalist Todd Fink sneeringly pronounces his ideology: working primarily to sustain an idealized standard of living is foolish, and living solely for one’s job is ultimately futile; accepting one’s fungible role in a characterless workforce renders one’s life no more substantial than a “cast shadow.” There’s a fine line, though, between senseless burnout and industrious virtue. To the extent Fink means to disparage a productive work ethic, his hyperbolic assailment probably deserves all the credence of an unemployed career guidance counselor’s advice.

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