Get Us Out of Here

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Freur's Get Us Out of Here is just as repetitive and annoying as the work vocalist Karl Hyde and keyboardist/programmer Rick Smith would do a decade later as Underworld. The most noticeable difference is that Hyde was still singing instead of letting the electronics take over. Considering how irritating his voice can be on Get Us Out of Here, perhaps he should've arrived at that decision earlier in his career. There are times when Hyde sounds like Martyn Bates of Eyeless in Gaza, only much less disciplined and nowhere near as ethereal. Freur is best known for "Doot Doot," monotonous yet somehow compelling experimental pop. "Doot Doot" created the effect of synthesizers imitating an abstract painting, and it was the peak of Freur's artistic capabilities. Get Us Out of Here, on the other hand, finds the group fumbling for new ideas. It is an emotionally detached, grating record that has fleeting moments of entertainment. While Get Us Out of Here doesn't seem as dated as other techno-rock records from the '80s, there are only a few hooks within, and half of those are ruined by Hyde's vocal histrionics. Despite its overall lack of charm, Get Us Out of Here can be viewed as an influence on electronic music in the 21st century, but that still doesn't make it a good listen. Freur deserves praise for its pioneering efforts, even though Hyde and Smith didn't learn how to write songs until Underworld's fine first two LPs in the late '80s. Aside from the oddly catchy "The Devil and Darkness," Get Us Out of Here has an apt title: Lock people in a room with this record playing and that's exactly what they'll say.

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