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06:21:03:11 Up Evil

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Album Review

The first of two releases for Front 242 in 1993, 06:21:03:11 Up Evil (aka F*ck Up Evil) found the foursome rebounding from the somewhat sterile Tyranny (For You) with a varied, vicious assault. Incorporating guitar noise more readily than ever before, but most often chopped up and heavily treated for the band's own particular purposes, 06:21:03:11 Up Evil contains some of the band's most virulent, explosive songs. All titles are one-word long, simple, and straightforward, with names like "Flag," "Mutilate," and "Crapage." There's almost a straight-up rock feel to a number of tracks as well, as the drumming on "Waste" and the quite anthemic "Melt" shows. It's hardly Front 242's grunge move, though — Jean-Luc de Meyer and the generally little-heard Richard 23 may have a more openly emotional rasp and rage in their voices, especially de Meyer, but the relentless beat of industrial/electronic body music lives on. Leadoff single "Religion" continues the group's winning vein on that front, feedback roars and a huge beat setting an edgy pace before a body slam of a chorus kicks in, de Meyer raging over the top, "Let me burn you down!" The winning secret of the album is that a fair number of songs also demonstrate a careful subtlety, as with the sly mood-setting of "Skin," with its chopped-up electro/hip-hop beats providing the propulsion behind desperate whispers and ominous synth buzzes. The immediately following "Motion" provides an even more upfront blend of styles, with a quiet start and gentle singing suddenly shifting into a pounding call-to-arms percussion attack, all while de Meyer chants, "progress, progress!" again and again. Other successes in this vein include the strange prettiness of "Stratoscape," featuring a low, purring bassline and crisp beats offset against soft keyboard sparkles and chimes, and "Fuel," which includes minimal ambient buzz, more upfront dance/beat chaos, and varying combinations of the two.

Customer Reviews

Possibly Their Best Work

After Sony Epic signed 242 to a multi-album deal, they were expecting to get something similar to Nine Inch Nails. It was a long struggle for the band from the time they wrapped up the Tyranny >For You< tour, but in 1993, Daniel Bressanutti and Co. delivered one of the finest industrial albums ever written. There is not a single weak link to be found. The remarkable synthesis and arrangements are dark, energetic and driving. "Flag" has one of the most amazing build-ups I've ever heard. You won't hear it in the preview, but trust me, you'll want to hear the whole thing. "Stratoscape" has a really cool vocoder that ghosts Jean Luc's voice on the chorus. And "Hymn" has a really neat propeller-like bassline that slowly pushes the beat along. Sony Epic didn't get what they were expecting, but for those of us who kept an open mind, we got much more than we bargained for. All the VNV Nations, Haujobbs and Project Pitchforks of the world haven't evolved beyond this album's production in more than a decade since. A true testament to the genius and vision of Front 242.

Finally!

I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this album for a long time. My cassette was so worn out that it was nearly impossible to hear anything of quality and I was never able to find the CD version. Finally I can get this on iTunes and put Front 242's phenominal hit F* Up Evil on my iPod.

probably the best Front242 record ever

this is the most fluid and accessable release by these belgian technoindustrial wizards.

Biography

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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