Front 242

No Comment

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With the recruitment of Richard 23 to fill out the classic line-up, Front 242 started consolidating its strengths with the No Comment EP. Kicking off with the full nine-minute hit of "Commando Mix," the quartet took the best parts of Geography for a starting point and whipped up a smart, tight selection of songs that start to have their own identity as Front 242, straight up. "No Shuffle," with its straightforward, brutal drum punch and heavy distortion, not to mention de Meyer's cold pronouncing of the lyrics, is particularly fine. "Special Forces," which appears in a "nomenklatura" instrumental remix as well, isn't much different but just as effective, de Meyer and 23 trading off in the manner that would characterize many of the band's later hits. A couple of cuts still seem almost too polite in comparison to later efforts, but while "Lovely Day" may have an actual romantic theme to it, the combination of the two vocalists' work and the screeching synth break make appropriately unsettling results. The 1992 re-release, besides a fine remastering job, also includes four bonus cuts from various sources. A re-recorded version of "Body to Body" beats out the original take by a mile, while the two live cuts from a show in Ghent are reasonable enough if not particularly revelatory. Adding yet another run through of "Special Forces" (the demo session in this instance) was probably doing too much, however.

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