ALBUM: Lost in Static
LABEL: Diffusion Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
With their latest album, Austin, Texas band CTRL continue their exploration of modern synthpop. Featuring 10 tracks, the album flits effortlessly between vintage electronics, as on the '80s-inspired "My Guest" or the evocatively titled opener, "Dark Lords of Insomnia," to more contemporary fare borrowing from techno, industrial and even experimental. "Groove" delivers what its title promises; it's a thumping freight train of hard-hitting beats, gritty synthesizers, and snappily belted vocals. Title track "Lost in Static" is more upbeat, relying less on rhythms than on infectious melodies, but no less club-ready. For fans of slower, more emotive fare, "No Answer" pairs wistful vocals with downtempo electronics, and masterful closing track "Underground Rain" finishes the album with an industrial-tinged epic. Starting with a reverberating snare and echoing electronic tones, it builds into a crooning, nostalgic synthpop ballad. Like their fellow Texas acts (and Diffusion Records label-mates) Iris and Low Technicians, CTRL also integrate rock elements into their sound, though subtly; "I Can't Keep" uses sparse electric guitar to add depth to a thumping club beat, and though "We Are All Lost" starts off with a minimalist electronic sequence, guitar atmosphere adds the perfect amount of depth before the soaring chorus kicks in. CTRL may not be electronic purists, but this album is still synthpop at heart, and fans of classic acts like New Order as well as newer artists will find a lot to like here.
Visit the band online at www.ctrlmusic.com.
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