CD title: Degenerate
Label: Control freak records
Genre: Gothic House/Industrial
Reviewer: Steve Fearon
You can buy this album here: http://control.org/?page=degenerate
Control.org return from a 6 year hiatus with a brand new offering entitled "Degenerate", which is described by the band themselves as being "Dirty Gothic House".
A lot of the communication coming from the band is making the case that they are not interested in current trends, or in a slick image, and are instead just interested in the music.
"We made this one very much for us and were not too worried about the digital fashion crazed scenes we'd bring it into" (from Control.org's facebook page)
With a history spanning back until the mid 90s, Control.org appear disinterested in the politics and vanity of the current Industrial scene, and this maturity is reflected in their sound, which is cleverly textured with warm pads and lead sounds that fade in and out smoothly, rather than the more typical piercing sawtooth leads evident in a lot of contemporary releases.
There is a pleasant mixture of sounds available on Degenerate, with some almost retro 90's synth sounds present, giving a vibe of the techno and rave scene of that period, without becoming too oppressive or distracting.
There are also plenty of grooves and catchy sections in this release, although there are times where it feels that Control.org could do with stepping up a gear, perhaps increasing the Intensity for a track or two.
A good example would be "Analogue Killer", which boasts a bass groove that Faderhead himself would be proud of, followed by vocals that surge in and bounce the track along nicely, really vibe-ing and bursting with energy.
However when it reaches the chorus, instead of kicking up a notch, it just seems to hang and maintain the flow without quite reaching the euphoric promise of the earlier sections.
This is a minor criticism, as the track is still very enjoyable, with it's chorus lyrics "Digital world, Digital tools, simplify existence for the Digital fools" a little reminiscent of the Mighty Boosh's musical excursions, providing a fun lyrical hook to get your teeth into.
In terms of who Control.org sound like for a comparison, there isn't really anyone that springs to mind, they have a quite distinctive sound, and deserve praise for finding their own way to do things in the face of a scene that is increasingly thriving on its own stereotypes.
At times they have similarities to Faderhead, as mentioned before, but that is perhaps only because of their ability to create ridiculously catchy basslines, and not a great deal else.
There are definitely some 80's synthpop influence in there, sitting alongside some early 90's electro, but there is a subtle blend as opposed to an obvious meshing of influences, which ultimately makes them a more interesting and enigmatic prospect.
Ultimately, Control.org are have given us an honest, tongue in cheek slice of Industrial Electro, which offers a unique sound, an interesting sense of humour, and a strong sense of groove that suffers from a lack of dynamism at key points.
6/10 - Recommended Tracks - "Analogue Killer" & "Countdown To Corruption"
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