Todd Baechle and his band, the Faint, have made a name for themselves by playing cold, hard, nihilistic synth-rock. The quintet from Omaha, Neb., dresses in black and hides behind strobe lights in concerts. But their latest, "Danse Macabre," is more inviting than this remoteness might suggest.
Like Depeche Mode, they use electronic bells and whistles to augment excellent, catchy pop tunes. Songs like "Let the Poison Spill From Your Throat" pack a powerful house-music thump. "Your Retro Melted Career" and "Violent" show a tricky rhythmic sophistication. Electronics dominate the music to the point where even the cellos and guitars in the mix sound synthetic, but this is unmistakably a rock record.