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A happier ending than Romeo and Juliet, Back Back Forward Punch will have you falling in love with their Tragic Lover EP

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Laura Boland and Andy Liddell are two unique Melbourne-based artists who together form the electronic duo Back Back Forward Punch. Whilst their duo name may be wordy and convoluted, their lyrics are certainly sparse, the futuristic, disco beats speaking more so than words in their latest EP, Tragic Lover. The little vocals that are heard belong to the strong, sassy voice of Boland; however Liddell’s production skills are hands down the trophy of the tracks.

BBFP

Back Back Forward Punch prove they have what it takes to step up to the big leagues with their debut EP Tragic Lover.

Ironically for the electro / futuristic duo, the first of their tracks on the EP is titled Machine Believing. The track stays true to its name, a raw instrument or authentic sound almost non-existent amongst the whirl of euphoric sounds, a melody played by what resembles a classical guitar the only sense of grounding in the space-like melodic atmosphere. The vocals are airy, murmured and almost a half-hearted echo, with little variation and lacking punch. However having said that, given the musical context which surrounds the suffering vocal line Boland can get away with it and blend in with the out-of-this-world scene the duo create.

With the vocals out of the forefront, the production skills of Liddell truly have a chance to shimmer and draw the focus of BBFP’s listeners. The electronic sounds continue to be dynamic throughout the track; random beeps, electronic slides, manipulated claps and a refreshing glockenspiel (or some crazy, futuristic electro-magic that sounds like one) all create a rather dense texture. The structure of sections however borders on repetitive, the bridge thankfully acting as a breath of fresh air and saving the track from falling beneath its benchmark. Lyrics “I’m not real” foreshadow what is to be a mysterious ending to the bass-drop song that keeps you questioning what it is you just experienced.

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Settle the Score, another track from the EP, initially shows promise to be a more punchy song, however as the song progresses it seems to go no further. Alternatively to Machine Believing the main vocals are male and are the focal point of the song, henceforth have a lot more of an impact. The main voice is surrounded by layers of female harmony and backing vocals, sharp cutting and somewhat chirpier. The downside of an otherwise successful vocal performance, is that the words of the songs title, “settle the score”, are practically the only words of the song which are repeated over… and over… and over (the kind of words that become irritating, spiraling in your head for hours after the song has finished).

The music however, is the kind of bouncy beat you’d be happy to have stuck in your head and will leave you dancing as if you’re at a night club all night long. A sci-fi sprinkled zap matches the sharp cut of explicit lyrics and keeps the futuristic element of this mystical duo real.

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No Answer funnily enough IS the answer to BBFP’s troubles, the perfect mix of electro beats, diverse vocals, quirkiness, and a dancing track beyond our imagination. What makes this track the savior of the EP is its ability to build and grow in texture and layers as the song progresses, leaving listeners entertained and waiting for the next crazy element to be added to the mix. The scale-like electro-melody runs and jumps all over the place, immediately creating a fun and upbeat vibe to start off the track on a high. A bopping, bassy synth accompanies the flying notes to give the song some depth and strength, something the other songs on the EP lack.

An intricate double layered female vocal doesn’t disappoint, Boland singing an abundance of crisp lyrics- something the audience is dying to hear after the lack of lyrics in the previous tracks. Not only are there words, the vocal range demonstrates Boland’s diversity as a singer, showing off her vocal range by switching to a lower pitch in alternate sections for more substance. The quirkiness of the duo is certainly not absent, robot voices, zipping, ghostly echoes and an air-escaping whine are all bundled together to fill this track with everything these Melbourne kooks are about.

BBFP are definitely leaving their footprints in the electro / disco scene with this EP. Whilst some of the tracks are repetitive and often lacking some oomph, the musical duo shows real potential with their insane sounds and euphoric aura that will lead them places I’m sure only they can imagine.

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February 9, 2016