CD title: Fragmentary Moments
Label: Diffusion Records
Genre: Industrial, Synthpop, Alternative
One of the things that I have always enjoyed about the Austin, Texas synth-pop band, CTRL is that they have always worn their influences on their sleeves and every album tended to lean in a particular direction in paying a type of homage to their heroes. Depending on what album you are listening to, you can hear a post-punk influence, a true synth-pop influence, you can pick up moments of Joy Division, The Cure and even local synthpop gods, Iris, sneaking into their music. On CTRL’s seventh full length (if you count the excellent extended single for “Lost In Static” as a near full length), Fragmentary Moments, Brad MacAllister, Damon Shelton, Jason Fenimore and company do much of the same but with a twist Whether it was intentional or not, this particular album sounds as if it is a soundtrack to a John Hughes film which is a good trait because the soundtrack was always one of the strengths of a John Hughes film that helped them to become such classic films.
They grab your attention with the opening track 'Falling Stars” and then lead you on a journey down memory lane, especially for many of us, our high school memories. The second track, “Collapse” sounds exactly like something that Philip Oakey and the Human League would have written, and is one of the highlights for me on this album. With track three’s “Search” I was left thinking about the final scene of “16 Candles” where Molly Ringwald’s character, Samantha Baker finally gets to kiss Jake, but instead of the Thompson Twins providing the soundtrack to that moment it’s CTRL. They switch it up on you movie wise on “Even” because that has a Vangelis/Blade Runner sounding opening to it. As is their way, CTRL always seem to write catchy crowd favorite sing along songs and “The Moment” as well as the aforementioned “Search” would fill those roles. If you are looking for the “club hit” on Fragmentary Moments then look no further than “Advance” with it’s high bpm and dance ability. This track was clearly targeted for the club audience and scores a direct hit. Not far off from that and a close second club-wise is “Circumanic” which reminded me of Beborn Beton’s “Mantrap/Ambush”. CTRL continue to evolve and that after 15 years they still can release solid and interesting albums with no signs of slowing down. Based on the strength of the song writing and the warm feelings this album gave me after several listens, I’m going to rate this a 7 out of 10. Pick it up if you get the chance and the 2nd pressing of this cd has some additional tweaks to the artwork and credits than the 1st pressing copy that I own.
Take a Listen: CTRL- Search
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