Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Art of Punk: Increasing The Minimum Rage

If you’ve listened to Faintest Idea before then you’ll know that their music is not only insanely catchy, and impossible to stay still whilst listening to, but it also comes with important messages, political or otherwise. And if you haven’t listened to Faintest Idea before, I highly recommend that you do! You can start with their latest album, Increasing The Minimum Rage, released last Friday which is excellent musically and lyrically. (You can read Colin’s review of the album here.) I’d probably even say that it’s my favourite album of the year so far and their album release party at the Owl Sanctuary on Friday night was also probably the best gig I’ve been to so far this year…but this is Art of Punk, so on with the art!

Increasing The Minimum Rage is an album filled with political protests – the title itself is a political pun – so it seems only right that the album cover should also have a strong political and maybe a little bit of a controversial message. No prizes for guessing who the pig on the cover might represent, but I imagine there’s some Animal Farm influence in there too.

Faintest Idea teamed up with Wisconsin, USA, based illustrator and graphic designer Dismay Design for the album artwork. Looking at Dismay’s other work it’s clear that he has a knack for combining in-your-face illustration with almost garish colours. It’s the colours of the Increasing The Minimum Rage artwork that first caught my eye – bold, vibrant and using a colour combination that probably shouldn’t work, but does. Of course, the illustration itself has a powerful message which is reinforced by the use of colour. The typography and treatment around the type (paint splats and jagged edges) have a grungy and very much DIY feel, which suits Faintest Idea perfectly.

Some other Dismay Designs including the wonderful Owl Sanctuary, Norwich:

I received my vinyl copy of the album early last week (before the official release date). It was great to see that the back of the sleeve not only continues the design theme but also features another illustration. It feels like a lot of thought went into the whole package rather than just having an awesome cover and then a plain track listing on the back. The artwork for the first single, Circling The Drain, also follows a similar design theme. Although interestingly it uses words that are neither the title of the song nor lyrics from it as the main focus, which is a little unusual.

I ordered the pink version, rather than green, which I think was a fine choice as it looks excellent alongside the artwork. See my Instagram post below:

A photo posted by Emma Prew (@emmaprew) on

It also came with a bonus limited edition screen print designed by Faintest Idea’s own Sara Harrington. Thanks TNS Records!