Faust - Something Dirty - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Faust - Something Dirty

by Rich Morris Rating:7 Release Date:2011-01-31

So you thought last year's industrial metal-tinged Faust is Last was the legendary Krautrockers' final statement, did you? But now here's a new album. Confused? That's probably the way Faust, or rather the Fausts, want it. You see, there have in fact been two bands named Faust for several years, both featuring members of the original collective and both apparently benignly comfortable with the other's existence. Faust is Last was the work of the Hans Joachim Irmler-led Faust, and may or may not be that model's final released work. Something Dirty, on the other hand, is the product of the quartet founded by Jean Herve Peron (bass) and Werner Diermaier (drums). All up to speed? Good.


The first thing that strikes one about Something Dirty is that it's far closer to the classic Faust sound than Faust is Last was. From the droning, white-noise-tripping swamp of 'Tell the Bitch to Go Home' to the thumping, shuddering bricolage of 'Pythagoras' - recalling on of the original line-up's all time greats, 'J'ai Mal Aux Dents' - and the 19-second pastoral folk of 'Save the Last One', this is an album which slots in nicely alongside the original run of seminal 70s records. While it doesn't muster anything quite as jaw-droppingly strange as 'Why Don't You Eat Carrots?' or the jump-cut mix-ups of The Faust Tapes, it manages to be something more vital than a nostalgia piece.


The vitality mostly comes from singer/keyboardist Geraldine Swayne, who brings a sexy, borderline psycho air to songs such as 'Le Sole Doree', 'Lost the Signal' and 'Invisible Mending', which sounds like Portishead's Beth Gibbons making a stalkerish late-night phone call. Peron also shines on vocal duties, delivering an impassioned rant on the typically peculiar 'Ja Bouffe', which locates a previously unsuspended mid-point between avant-thrash and mannered Gallic waltz and totally makes it work.


High-points aside, however, it's fair to say that if you know your Faust, there's nothing here that will surprise you. 'Dampfaulass 1' gets the furtherest away from the classic Faust sound, employing a primitive squelching beat and harsh electronics which sound like early Throbbing Gristle and closest to the industrial sounds of the other Faust. But there's still plenty of fun to be had listening to Something Dirty, and it still manages to pack into one album more ideas, more shifts and changes than most young bands will pack into an entire career.

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