I remember seeing big half-page ads for this record all the time in MRR when it first came out, but I don't think it had much of an impact. At a time when hardcore was still fairly dominant within the U.S. underground music scene, I'm guessing that 4-1/2-minute punk songs and 8-song LPs weren't such a good idea. A CD re-issuing all of The Front's '80s vinyl is either out now or in the works, so maybe things will work out differently for them this time around, who knows.
Almost to a fault, The Front drew comparisons to The Clash (read: fake British accents and boring lyrics), though outside of the obvious Joe Strummer Alert being set off by the vocals, I don't hear a whole lot of Clash in here-- except maybe towards the more revved-up Clash stuff like "White Riot" (the only Clash record I've ever bothered to own, by the way). California bands like M.I.A. and Mad Parade, or Boston's Last Stand, probably make better comparisons. There's not a lot of variety here, either; every song seems to be built upon the same ringing Cockney Rejects "Bad Man" guitar riff, save for the two "regular" rock songs (with piano and harmonica, no less) on side two, which you can barely skip over fast enough. There's still some pretty good hooks to be found, though, and the overall sound is fairly nice and thick, thanks to the production of Ethan James, who also engineered the Minutemen's "Double Nickles on the Dime" and Sonic Youth's "Bad Moon Rising". Folks who liked Chronic Disorder or that Chopper EP that I posted a few years back will probably really dig this, though I know that's not sayng much.
The Front -