Love Backed By Force 212

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rovi.MR0003548902 Used
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    Love Backed By Force 212 What's Yr Rupture?
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Review

Review Text Originally self-released in 1981 to almost zero fanfare, Love Backed by Force was the sole LP release from Tronics, solo vehicle of London artist Ziro Baby. The band lingered in relative obscurity for five years before dissolving completely, leaving behind only this and a few other scant releases. In following decades, Love Backed by Force would go on to be recognized as a lost masterpiece of outsider folk art, with original copies trading hands at outrageous prices. This first proper reissue of the album shares the fractured personal world of Tronics, an incredible band that somehow sounds like looking into someone else's dark daydream. The album was created as a clearing-house for random songs to make way for a more focused effort. As such, styles and moods change almost every track. Of the 13 songs, very little remains constant save the reverbed bongos filling in for a full drum kit and a slew of brittle guitars sounding out from different rooms of a house. Beginning with the synth ambience of instrumental opener "Charlie Manson," Tronics commit to no one sound for long. "Ultra Pol" sounds like the Vaselines' take on funk, complete with goofy pitch-shifted vocals and slap bass. "My Baby's in a Coma" offers up no-budget Ramones style, which drops its creaky distorted guitars to make way for the stoic harpsichord-touched ballad "Min Dama." Some of the album's best moments come from Gaby De Vivienne's vocal duets with Ziro, adding an icy sweetness to the jagged acoustic punk sentiments. Despite the ever-shifting gears, there is a sense of continuity holding these jumbled songs together. Sometimes spiky and abrasive, sometimes almost sadly tender (as on the gorgeous "T.V. on in Bed"), the songs all share an intensely personal perspective. Whether the topics at hand are silly, heartbroken, or odes to the banalities of everyday life, Tronics approach them from a place so insular it feels like they're unaware anyone would ever hear them thinking out loud. Take for example "Crush on You," which shares a theme and presentation with a Clash song by a similar name. Where the Clash or the Undertones made these types of songs fun, energetic blasts of simple dumb teenage longing in musical form, Tronics' mainline the same three-chord stomp with stark, almost depraved desperation before even getting out of the gate. When Ziro sings opening lines "I love you and I don't know why/If you don't love me I'm going to die," there's a detached emptiness to the delivery that's almost chilling, rendering what might be throwaway lyrics a serious cry of exhausted confusion. The nakedness of these songs might be a result of the band perceiving it had no audience to pander to or feeling like these tracks were just collected loose ends, but it's what makes Love Backed by Force exist in its own stratosphere. Bands like Virgin Insanity, Television Personalities, and even the Go-Betweens would approach this kind of strange intimacy in their rudimentary pop creations, but Tronics lived there entirely. ~ Fred Thomas

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Charlie Manson - 2:01
  2. 2. Love Backed by Force - 2:19
  3. 3. T.V. on in Bed - 3:04
  4. 4. They're Talking About Us - 4:30
  5. 5. Ice Flod Festival - 2:58
  6. 6. Ultra Pol - 4:50
  7. 7. My Baby's in a Coma - 2:08
  8. 8. Min Dama - 3:22
  9. 9. Spending Time - 4:56
  10. 10. Love Tan (In a Two Way Circus) - 3:28
  11. 11. L.B.B.F. (Reprise) - 3:01
  12. 12. Crush on You - 2:57
  13. 13. Monde - 2:46

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