Review by: Gimpleg

When Faintest Idea released “Kill em Dead”, the first single off of their upcoming The Road to Sedition album, I had never heard of them, despite their excellent 16 years of releasing music and touring all over Europe. Three minutes and eight seconds later, I was scouring their social media and reaching out to the band to interview them. Before I was given the opportunity to review their album, I had gone out and bought their full discography. When I say that this album is their best work to date, I mean it, and it’s not close- and yes, I also like their older work.

This album feels like it was crafted to be listened to from front to back every time, it starts with a simple chord before one horn phrase comes in, then repeated with a second horn, a third horn layers an accompanying melody, then a siren and drums are added and suddenly I’m on my feet before the first vocal. I want to chime in next, I’m ready for my part. The music falls quiet and “GOOOOOOOOO” before the explosion of music rejoins with quick tempo. My blood is pumping and I am wholly committed to the journey. The first track ends with a sample of a famous story (often retold and used by Utah Phillips and others) from the International Worker’s of the World Union being robbed by the Capitalist system,that ends with the phrase “and this is what they were singing”. At this point we know EXACTLY where this is going- right into the first single for the album, a beautifully strung together bibliography of leftist literature, books on organizing people for political action, and music, listed as lyrics that actually tell the story of fighting back and questioning the answers and solutions that are given to you. While the ideology of the song easily had me hooked, and the rhythm of the song fed my emotional state and got my blood pumping, it was the saxophone that broke up the pace and refocused the song after the second verse leading to an instrumental section before the final verse that sold me. 

False Prophets leads in with another sample, but the horns layered over it make the sample engaging, bringing it more into focus as the song tells us to question authority, and very importantly all authority, not just authority you disagree with. The song is catchy and fast and I’m moving my feet and perking up my ears. This song tells me that the single that I fell in love with was definitely not a one off, and I need to keep listening.

And as I keep listening, “Nose Dive” comes up next. This song hit hard, because it addresses a feeling a lot of people have. How do you live in a capitalist society and fight capitalism? How do you work a full time job in order to live while telling people that the system is bad and the system is rigged. While the song offers no answer, it’s clear that it is a shitty position we all have to suffer, but the suffering is evidence that the fight must continue. But again, the song is just excellent. The entire first verse is played with only simple guitar strums and musical accompaniment to bring focus to the lyrics and add a sense of desperation and exhaustion before the anger and music kicks in. This song features a verse by Riskee, who almost raps his verse which adds a layer to the song and again, makes it stick out from the rest of the song and keeps the listener engaged. 

Every song on this album is worth writing about. Each one has a unique and valuable lesson, and every song uses some stylistic device to keep the listener engaged, and focused on the message while presenting compelling music that you want to sing along to, always sitting on that edge between punk and hard-core, but laden with powerful horn lines that rival any ska band. But as I stated early in the review, this album feels like it was made to be listened to from front to back every time. The album ends exactly opposite of how it began. While the album began with a single chord on a guitar repeating as each horn was layered onto it before the first lyric, after the last track seemingly ends, the guitars and drums resume with a beat and gang vocals come in.


This verse is repeated at least a half dozen times and the guitars and drums fade out, but the gang vocals continue as a chant. The beauty of the album coming in with the instruments rising in tone and tempo, and closing with the instruments fading out leaving just the voices feels perfect and recalling back to the sample from the first track- this is the song they sang.


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