Thursday, September 18, 2014

Total Control : "Typical System"

This band from Australia has been around since 2008.This is their second album. Leading you to believe changes have been brewing in the past six years. The album starts of with some very new wavey keyboards, very Gary Numan. It's hard to believe that at one time they were a punk band upon hearing "Glass". Saying it's like indie rock dark wave would imply that they sound something like the Faint. Which they do not unless by the fact they have synths.

 The punk band returns with in the span of a song. "Expensive Dog" is very straight up garage punk. It jangles ahead, until the song slows into more of a lurch as the keys return.If not for this jarring bridge the song would have come across as to simplistic, this also serves as a warning that you should not expect anything from these guys. "Flesh War" hits the kind of taunt Echo and the Bunnymen like post- punk I went into this expecting. Then they jangle back into the more Television like angular garage rock, which sounds like a step backwards, by going so lo-fi after the previous song. This song might be a clearer indication of what they sound like live. So when the Casio driven lounge lizard new wave of "Liberal Party" follows you give up trying to figure out who this band really is as it is like the parable of blind men and the elephant. Some of these hats fit better than others, they all sound authentic to the styles of music they are either mocking or paying homage to.

 "Black Spring" strikes me as the middle ground between the garage punk and new wave elements the band has toyed with up to this point. There is a slight Sonic Youth vibe to this one as well. The production is a good balance of rawness and pleasure to the ear so all instruments come across clearly.The odd instrumental "the Ferry man" dips into some minimalist cold wave. It's at this point in the album where some of the Joy Division creeps in, mainly evident in the bass playing. They stay the course with a very early German new wave feel on "Hunter". This sound works much better than the previous song as that sort of thing has to have vocals to be engaging.

 There is a more down trodden Ice Age sort of vibe on "Safety Net" if the Danish band explored more 80's synth pop. The song kinda soars away in an almost cheese filled Syd Barrett psychedelic explosion. Stylistically this is like the post-punk version of the Residents. I think it works more often than it doesn't so I am going to give this album an 8. If you are into garage punk then round it up a bit, either way give it a listen, especially if you are into bands like Nouns or Liars.  

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