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Front 242

One, you lock the target. Two, you bait the line. Three, you slowly spread the net, and four you catch the man!
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Front 242 is a Belgian EBM band and the Trope Namers (but not the Trope Codifier) for Electronic Body Music: this term was coined for their 1984 album No Comment.

Their style, EBM, is a subgenre of Industrial that resembles the Darker and Edgier cousin of Synth-Pop. "Darker and Edgier Kraftwerk" is a good description. The music itself is punk like, aggressive and danceable Electronic Music with mostly conventional (verse-bridge-chorus) song structures.

Front 242 member Richard 23 was a founding member of Revolting Cocks alongside Ministry's Al Jourgensen.

Unfortunately, Front 242 have at times been accused of Nazism. This accusation is severely misplaced.

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Discography

  • Geography (1982)
  • No Comment (1984)
  • Back Catalogue (1987)
  • Official Version (1987)
  • Front by Front (1988, the one album featuring "Headhunter")
  • Tyranny (For You) (1991)
  • Live Target (1992, live album)
  • 06:21:03:11 Up Evil (1993)
  • 05:22:09:12 Off (1993)
  • Live Code (1994, live album)
  • Mut@ge, Mix@ge (1995, remix album)
  • Re-Boot: Live '98 (1998, live album)
  • Pulse (2003)
  • Moments... (2008, live album)
  • Transmission SE91 (2013)

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Front 242 provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Album Title Drop: There's one for Official Version in "Slaughter".
  • The Backwards Я: Some of their graphic design work with Cyrillic letters is this, other times it's actual Russian.
  • Big Brother Is Watching You: "Circling Overland" describes a dystopia where surveillance aircraft rule the skies. Remind you of what the US DHS is doing today?
  • Epic Rocking: "Not Bleeding Red'' by Nothing But Noise, an ambient side project of Front 242, is a total of 96 minutes, and two of the tracks clock over 18 minutes in length.
    • They also have a few songs of their own that go into the 7-8 minute range- "Commando Mix", "Masterhit (Parts 1 & 2)" and "Junkdrome" are all good examples.
  • Excited Band Name!: фронта! 242
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Several examples.
    • Russian: "S.Fr Nomenklatura" I & II. They occasionally stylize their logo "фронта! 242".
    • German: The songs "Kampfbereit" and "Im Rhythmus Bleiben"
    • Italian: A few brief lines: "I nostri sogni sempri presenti.", "due quattro due"
  • Harsh Vocals: Christine "99" Kowalski on the 05:22:09:12 Off album.
  • Hidden Track: On Tyranny (For You), there are 2 minutes of silence after the last track, followed by 2 songs: "Hard Rock" and an alternate mix of "Trigger 2" entitled "Trigger 1".
  • Initialism Title: "W.Y.H.I.W.Y.G."
  • The Invisible Band: None of their album covers feature any band members.
  • Letters 2 Numbers: Played with; their 1993 albums 06:21:03:11 Up Evil and 05:22:09:12 Off, when translating the numbers to their appropriate letters, read Fuck Up Evil and Evil Off respectively.
  • List Song: "Headhunter" (or at least its chorus) may well count. It's even a numbered list!
    1. You lock the target
    2. You bait the line
    3. You slowly spread the net... and
    4. You catch the man
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually in the 4-5 realm, with the odd song dropping below that (especially their early, Synth-Pop-ish material) and a decent amount of 06:21:03:11 Up Evil and 05:22:09:12 Off making it to a 6, and also a few occasional songs, such as "Headhunter", which go up to a 7.
  • New Sound Album: No Comment introduced the harder EBM sound the band are most known for (after a Synth-Pop-y debut) and even named the genre to boot! Tyranny (For You) had a slightly more textured, layered sound, and 06:21:03:11 Up Evil was harder-hitting, had slightly more guitars and a slight Techno influence. Pulse has distinct Ambient and IDM elements, as well.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The majority of their tracks follow this trope. "Special Forces", "Don't Crash", "GVDT", "Im Rhythmus Bleiben", and "Never Stop" are notable exceptions.
  • Recurring Riff: The riff from "Until Death (Us Do Part)" reappears as the main melody of "Agony (Until Death)".
  • Refrain from Assuming: It's "Welcome to Paradise", not "Hey Poor".
  • Surreal Music Video: "Headhunter" and "Tragedy (For You)", both directed by Anton Corbijn.
  • Sampling: Used in almost every song.
  • Singer Name Drop: "242" shows up a lot in titles and lyrics.
  • Spelling Song: "Until Death (Us Do Part)"
    L-O-C-K
    L-O-C-K space T-H-E space D-O-O-R space F-O-R-E-V-E-R
    F-O-R-E-V-E-R
  • Trope Codifier: For the the EBM genre.
  • Trope Namer: Again, for the EBM subgenre of Industrial.
  • Voice Clip Song: "Welcome to Paradise" and "Angst". Incidentally, both sample ranting preachers. Often times, if a song doesn't have any sung lyrics, it uses voice clips.
  • Word Purée Title: "Funkahdafi" note 
  • You Are Number Twenty Three: Richard 23 (a.k.a. Richard Jonckheere).

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