Tronics: Love Backed by force – Early 80’s post-punk DIY.
Tronics were a post-punk band from London, fronted by Ziro Baby (more recently known as Zarjaz). Between 1979 and 1984 Tronics released four singles, a cassette, an LP and a flexi-disc. A brief flirtation with the “mainstream” indie scene culminated with a single on the Creation label.
The band started in 1977 as a fairly standard thrash/punk outfit called the Gits with Ziro – styling himself Ronnie Git – joined by Rick Gregorson (gtr), Glenn Evans (drms) and Phil Anderson (bs). After debuting at Westfield College and playing a few club and pub gigs, Anderson was replaced by Rick Kenyer and the new lineup, now as Tronics, recorded a handful of unreleased demos, all of Baby’s songs and then, at Gooseberry Studios in Soho, ‘Suzy’s Vibrator’ and ‘Favorite Girls’, the coupling which became the first single. Suzy’s vibrator is sampled in this video below:
After Evans left to join the Reds, the original band released a second 45, ‘Time Off’ and then fell apart. Baby regrouped with new musicians and an ever-evolving, more complex style that incorporated more and more of the bizarre artistry of his side project, the Cathedrals. By the time Tronics recorded ‘Shark Fucks’ and the album, ‘Love Backed By Force’, in 1980, the band was down to a duo, Baby augmented by Gaby de Vivienne.
Backed by force (as you can hear above) reveals a change and a departure with the familiar Tronics earlier output. It has this “Buddy Holly songster” feel to the DIY post-punk edge. It’s not a direct homage as the below copy of ‘Spending time’ shows. The melody is there (direct from the 1960’s and very Buddy Holly) but that unmistakably dark punk guitar riff gives this great song a backedned edge that allows for the brilliant commentary that punk does so well.
I heard about this great band through the Dusted review posted Feb 2. Michael Ardaiolo had this to say:
It is a shame that little else became of Tronics and this clique of musicians besides a short-lived stint on Creation Records and Zarjaz’s (as Ziro Baby is now known) Freakapuss Afterlife Systems. If you are able to navigate the dated website, it makes for an appropriately odd read: “Just the same, with the release of the sexual anthem, There Ain’t Nothing Like An Orgasm, described as a celebration of the orgasm. Zarjaz felt forced to withdraw this underground release because of being more than a similarity to the establishments release Hey-Ya by The Outkasts soon after. [sic ad infinitum]” Love Backed by Force is an enjoyable, ephemeral artifact of the early post-punkers. Some futurists are best shortsighted.
A big shame methinks!