Album Review

Faust – “Something Dirty” – [Bureau B.]

abacus   11/21/2011   A Library, CD

Faust’s history is confusing to say the least. Pioneering the krautrock genre in the early 70s, the band disbanded in 1975, reunited in the 90s, then subsequently split into two groups, both named Faust. This incarnation, centered around founders Peron (bass) and Diermaier (drums), has also shuffled members but has maintained its current form since 2007 with James Johnston on guitar and Geraldine Swayne on vocals and keyboards. This release is amazingly cohesive and seems at times to be the closest sounding to their original sound. Nothing here seems too defiantly obscure yet it consistently maintains its pummeling intensity and relentless creativity. There seem to be two starts to this album, with the first three tracks establishing the complex dynamics to be explored later in the album; the blistering rock intro and juxtaposed serenity laden within the thickly layered Herbststimmung coalesce into the moving industrial march anthem Something Dirty. The album then begins again, exploring dark ambient soundscapes and psyched out guitar destruction alike. Swayne offers haunting yet seductive vocals (in English) on 5, 8, 13 while Je Bouffe assaults you with a grimy punk-waltz rant in French. In the final track, Swayne’s vocal musings echo and melt away into a crunchy feedback that ends abruptly, suggesting there may yet be more Faust to come. Let’s wait and find out…!

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