STILL & RAW
BIS, PLAYGROUND RELEASE: FEBRUARY 24, 2003 REVIEW: FEBRUARY
years and years of waiting, we finally get some new music from one of
the most influential bands of the electronic genre. To say that the wait
has been worth it is - at least by judging from this limited EP - an overstatement.
Fair enough, the members have said that “Still & Raw”
sounds nothing like the upcoming album, and I hope that this is true.
After that opening, I’ll go on by saying that this isn’t a
total disaster. But the things we like with Front 242 are nowhere to be
found. The hard beats, the songs, the powerful singing, they are all gone.
Instead we have slow, mellow, meaningless pieces with almost no discernible
song structures. The rhythms are a bit funkier than before though. “Loud”
is the one piece that comes closest to a “real” song, and
is actually quite good. It might have fitted well on the “06:21:03:11
up Evil” album.
Of course, all the tracks included are expertly done, and it shows that
these guys know what they are doing, at least technically. But songs are
not only about knob-twiddling, at least I don’t think so. “Collision”
is almost solely about the lads showing off what they are capable of.
“Strobe” is memorable only for the cunningly cut up vocals.
That track is also featured in another form as “Strobe <fragments>”,
but that doesn’t do much for me either. It’s only a boring
bassline over a metallic drumkit and some effects, before fading out to
weird sounds and dull ambience. Bah.
EP is not the rave-fest some of us had expected, but it’s not very
good either. Two decent songs, “7Rain <ghost>” - also
available in another, more boring version - and “Loud” is
on here, but decent is not what we want, now is it? And the cover art
is ugly too.