I just finished listening to KMFDM’s Adios, another band that operates on the spectrum between industrial music and electronica. (Though apparently these guys have existed longer, which is funny because I had never heard of them but had heard plenty about KMFDM.) As is often the case when I listen to two vaguely similar records around the same time, it’s hard to separate them in my mind.
Front Line Assembly are considerably less “industrial” and considerably less musically conventional than KMFDM. The latter is also a good thing but it also means that this record is less catchy, less immediate. I nixed a couple of electronic records that had their anniversaries this month and I find myself listening to this again and wondering why I didn’t nix it, as it’s basically electronic with vaguely menacing vocals. It’s very much not my thing. As I said with KMFDM, I’d like to know what the early industrial bands think about what they have wrought. I’m not to claim they are musically superior – this music is, at the very least, far more recognizable as music – but that it just seems that dance music was not what they were going for, so it’s funny so many dance bands have emerged out of the industrial scene.
I don’t know what to do with this. It does basically nothing for me – it doesn’t stir my imagination, it doesn’t make me want to dance (what does?!?!?), and I doubt it would have scared my parents when I was a teenager when this came out. (Okay, it might have scared my mom or step mom just a bit, but only on occasion, when the vocals are particularly distorted or sinister seeming.) It’s just innocuous. And I don’t know enough about the industrial dance hybrid thing to know if it’s at all important. There you have it.