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Tyranny (For You)

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Album Review

What should have been an amped-up consolidation of the group's considerable strengths, coming off the blazingly brilliant Front by Front album, instead was a sometimes successful but sometimes repetitive effort. As a major label debut, Tyranny (For You) shows no sign of compromise for greater airplay — it's Front 242 straight up, powerful, pounding, and following its own muse. It's just not quite as spot-for-spot successful as Front by Front, though technically the group sound even more comfortable with sampling and the art of atmospherics. Where it falls apart is the relentless one-note nature of the experience, with only the occasional variety in the beats per minute on tracks. Front 242 shouldn't be sounding like uninspired imitators who have only the one idea, but more than once songs like "Trigger 2" seem to be just that. The high points of Tyranny, though, are stunners. With the cinematic, slow groove of "Sacrifice" leading things off — a wonderful, threatening start, heightened by compressed orchestral samples and the heavy echo and low whispers of de Meyer and 23 — the group collectively pour it on for "Rhythm of Time," a great, charging single. Even more compelling is the sheer mania of "Tragedy (For You)," the leadoff single from the album as a whole, starting with a quick collage of random sounds before settling into the aggressive, nervous bassline. De Meyer's straightforward delivery of the cryptic lyrics, notably about the only time on Tyranny that he's quite so noticeable and upfront, immeasurably adds to the track's power, with 23 topping things off on the choruses. Another winner is "Neurobashing," one of the band's best instrumentals, with yells and crowd chants turned into a mesmerizing call-and-response exchange over an absolutely nonstop beat.


Formed: October, 1981 in Brussels, Belgium

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most consistent industrial bands of the 1980s, even though they regularly pursued a more electronic variant of the sound that swept into vogue during the '90s, Front 242 were the premier exponent of European electronic body music. Initially, the group was just a duo when formed in October 1981 in Brussels; programmers Patrick Codenys and Dirk Bergen recorded "Principles" and released the single on New Dance Records. A year later, programmer Daniel Bressanutti (aka Daniel B. Prothese) and...
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