Underviewer – “Wonders & Monsters” album review


Are you also longing for that ‘old-school’ Front 242 sound instead of their, nowadays more danceable tunes? Then this album by Underviewer is a must-have. Strangely enough it’s their first album after their formation about 35 years ago. Underviewer can be seen as post-Front 242 with Jean-Luc De Meyer and Patrick Codenys as the pioneers in charge. Starting in 1979 they didn’t even have the chance to bring out any music before becoming full-time collaborators with Front 242 in 1981.

underviewer-cd-sleeve-with-sticker1But now is the time to please us with Wonders & Monsters. 14 songs (cd version included with 4 bonus tracks) which are way more minimalistic than what you might suspect but what’s more important: they stood the test of time.

Obviously the songs are more or less reworked using today’s studio technics but still capture that experimental area of the 80’s without sounding old-fashioned.

It’s very special to hear the music from where and when it all started. Without this document we probably would never know Front 242 as we have experienced it through all those decades.

Only three songs were published before on the reissue of the album Geography and the title track ‘Wonders & Monsters’ was published on a compilation album. The rest are new old ones as if they were discovered underneath a layer of dust which was blown off.

This is a document from a time when electronic music was kind of invented. Some of the songs remind of bands of that era like DAF, Kraftwerk and yes, even Joy Division. And sometimes those typical Front 242 song structures already come forward and of course Jean-Luc’s recognisable voice.

It’s almost a feeling of going back to the future. Hard to imagine that in those days this firm base was constructed for all those electronic bands that exist today.