Fr/action is as much an idea as it is an actual band, with each release being less a collection of songs than a sci-fi noir concept album, and this, their second full-length, is no exception. The lyrics are of course full of dark, futuristic imagery; think “Mad Max” done anime style. It’s actually the music itself, though, that stands out. Fr/action mixes EBM, synthpop, and techno influences – no great shock, these days – but unlike most projects that have followed in the wake of VNV Nation, the programming here owes at least as much to melody as it does to rhythm. Whether it’s the more modern, trance-inspired songs like “Irreversible” and “Ground Zero” or the more ‘80s minded EBM pop of “Partners In Crime,” these tracks have the kind of high-pitched synthesized melody that gets stuck in your head. Dark, but at times uplifting, it’s reminiscent of nothing so much as the intricate Japanese-designed video games that filled arcades before “Street Fighter” took over everything. It’s such a perfect mood-setter that the vocals, which can be at times repetitive, almost get in the way; instrumental track “Interceptor” actually does a better job evoking the feeling of fast-paced, futuristic action than most of the more lyrical offerings. In any case, this might be the perfect soundtrack for catching up on those comic books about the giant robots, so electronic fans with a predilection for pulpy science fiction should give this one a listen.
Visit Fr/action online at www.fraction.cohaagen.com
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