Tyranny For You Review

The Front 242 of "Funk Gadaffi" would have thrived on times like these. With the Gulf Crisis hotting up, the air is full of electric brimstone. Dangerous, alluring images of khaki and modern warfare flash up the screen, our nerves are taut with imitations of violent modernity. Front 242 should be eating all this ambiguous energy. Instead, what we have here is Front 242 treading water, coming up once again against the limits of their sound and capabilities. This is, of all things, a run of the mill, meat and potatoes Front 242 album.

It's actually not bad and should prove eminently serviceable as they attempt to gain a foothold in the affections of the Americans (Nitzer Ebb and Adamski are among those who have done well over there in the slipstream of New Order and Depeche Mode). "Moldavia" is good, a stretched sub-DAF riff roasted by the blast of NASA rocket engines, as are the suppressed, Gregorian hues of "Untold". And "Neurobashing" is stripped and stark for maximum dancefloor efficiency. But these are additions to, rather than extensions of, what they've archieved previously.

Front's weakness are most evident when they attempt sinister ambience, as on "Trigger 2 (Anatomy Of A Shot)" or "Gripped By Fear", whereupon they fail to achieve the distinctive moods suggested in the titles with the tools at hand. Their methods and palate are cripplingly limited. Time and again they fall back on the same sonic methods - those juddery, pylon backbeats, those gnarled, muffled, cut-up muman shrieks down below, and Jean-Luc's feebly "ominous" vocals.

What is unforgivable about Front 242 in '91 is that they haven't done their duty as Futurists, reinvented themselves, declared themselves obsolete and metamorphosised to greet the future. The Studs loathe this album with the same virulent energy with which they first proposed Front 242. For, underneath all this relentless metallurgy and electric whiplash and stern imperatives lies, of all things, a hoary old chestnut - that nothing dates faster than Futurism.

David Stubbs - Melody Maker 910119

I was afraid of this. Evidently _Front_By_Front_ was a flash in the pan. I found this album terribly boring. Only "Tragedy (for you)" really stood out in my mind. The rest of it all pretty much sounds the same, just like all the albums before _Front_By_Front_. One really bizarre thing caught me though. There's a bonus track. The CD listing doesn't say it, but it's there. Track 10, listed as a time of 5:07, is in reality about twelve minutes long. The bonus song starts a couple of minutes after the end of the "last song", and, quite strangely, it's better than most of the "real album". Front 242 hasn't sold out on their major label debut, it's just more of the same. That may be good news for some, but it was bad news to me.

David L. Vessell (drdave@buhub.bradley.edu)

The longawaited album has finally been released and I'd say was pretty much worth the wait..It continues in the style of earlier releases such as the Never Stop EP and Front by Front but doesn't really sound like Official Version too much. There are some really interesting tracks on this one like 'Neurobashing' and 'Leitmotiv 136' which are mostly sample oriented hypnotic and some times noisy. Probably the best thing about this alum is that it isn't accessible even though it is a larger lable whan Waxtrax..(Epic to be exact). Overall , I'd really suggest buying this one..

Dan Mattoes (implode@bbs.sbs.com)