This series has been a learning experience for me, because though I've known a majority of these songs since they were released, but I very rarely knew that there were music videos for them. Or in the case of today's video, even what the singer looked like. Front 242 were leaders of the 1980's EBM (Electronic Body Music) movement, but in 1993, cast off their stark, electro sound and released two albums, first 06:21:03:11 Up Evil and then later that year 05:22:09:12 Off to shrug off some of the sounds that had come to define them. Up Evil (you can figure out what the "true" album titles are), was such a departure, with the musical madman J.G. Thirlwell producing and mixing the album. It was then a shock when later that same year Off was released, with most of the album sung by a female, this was as left field as could be.

And it was amazing. As wonderful as Up Evil was, I've always been a sucker for a good female lead singer, and 99 Kowalski simply fit the release to a t... In my eyes that is. Ask 242 fans of the era what they thought of this album, and the responses range from "this isn't Front 242" to "what the hell were they thinking" to "this is amazing". Animal is simply angry and the aggression is fueled by sounds that came along with 242's Up Evil, but would never have quite been possible without the addition of 99 Kowalski. Animal had four different versions on Off and then a couple of more on the Angels Versus Animals EP, each with their own flavor.

Crushed on the other hand, is heavy, slow, rhythmic, bitter, and seething. Crushed also came in two distinct flavors, Standard and Obscene and I'm giving you a video with both here (the original plays first, followed by Obscene).

The rest of Off is a great album as well, what with the Angel variants and the Serial Killer pieces as well. Though many people often prefer the simplistic, stripped down EBM roots that 242 were (and still are) known for, I really thought that 1993 was where it was at in terms of when they peaked.

Gamecat235 was a music reviewer once upon a time, has been listening to music of all walks for just about his entire life, and has far too many CDs, not nearly enough records, and befriends DJ's very very easily. This series was started when an online discussion made him realize, yet again, that he knew more about the music he loved than he really had any reason to, and that he missed writing about it. You can find him online all over the place, but he's most active here. Have any songs or albums that you think everyone should know about, but no one does? Share them in the comments!


You can follow the link… to see all of the posts in this series.