Mankind Liberation Front

Mankind Liberation Front

Mankind Liberation Front

Sol3/RCA

There’s a simple reason much of electronic dance music doesn’t resonate with fans of organically produced rock and roll. It’s almost as if the group gets so involved in angst and abstraction that it forgets to create the song. There’s a beat section (sometimes that’s all there is), but there are no verses, there’s no chorus, there’s no apparent idea behind it. That’s one area where electronica gets a little lost. Sure, it’s fun to get out there and just scream and try to shatter eardrums — but that’s like breaking glass against a wall. I don’t know if that’s music. I don’t know that’s there’s much thought behind it. The challenge then, is to find a middle ground where those drawn instinctively to guitar-based rock can initiate themselves to the new electronic frontier. Enter Mankind Liberation Front — the duo of Austrian-born Herwig Maurer and LA native Ran Pink — who create exciting electronic dance floor rhythms built around truly memorable rock songs. MLF use live drums, bass, and guitars to compliment the computers and other electronic gear, producing beat-driven music where the song isn’t an afterthought. In this way, MLF have more in common with KMFDM than the Prodigy. Social commentary, PC platitudes, and New Age affirmations are revealed through sing-along lyrics geared towards awakening pre-millennial consciousness, as the music moves you to dance in celebration. This is most evident on the infectious, mantra-like chorus of “Center of the Universe,” or “Dopedreams,” a reggae dub workout that seems to be a critique of Rave Culture. Other electro-rock mutations include “The Tens,” which builds on a dense, reverberant dance grid, and “Isolated” where blues guitar is juxtaposed over an industrial grind. Finally, “Radar Eyes and “Forget that We Are Here” work well as full on rock songs. Mankind Liberation Front make electronic dance music that’s well worth checking out to discover what you’ve been missing.

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