Inside/Absent combines a techno dance beat with intriguing lyrics, making an album that feels both derived of bands that have come before, and also unique in its attempt to branch out into an individualized sound. Not surprisingly, the album sounds a lot like a sparser version of the Faint. They share the same electronic, almost techno vibe with a robotic sounding, breathy singer. Regardless of the similarities, the album tests the waters on a truly original, individualized sound.
Inside/Absent, created by Faint bassist Joel Peterson, starts just a tad on the dull side, but picks up about halfway through and ultimately turns out to be a great album. The sound is driven mostly by guitar, electronics, and Peterson’s singing. The lyrics feel more like journal entries than song lyrics but – like most great songs – really connect the listener to the artist.
Sometimes on some of the slower tracks, the songs do drag out for a bit. Even though the computerized electronic style background is interesting, and definitely cool-sounding, it can become a little overbearing when attached to a slower tempo song. However, in the second half of the album, Inside/Absent integrates its techno feel with a few more upbeat numbers. You can’t help bopping a bit with songs like “The Distance is Nearsighted,” and even slower songs like “Anniversary” have such interesting, albeit depressing, lyrics that the song stays interesting despite somewhat monotonous music.