Thursday, August 7, 2014

Total Control : Typical System

Melbourne's Total Control (Al Montfort, Zephyr Pavey, Dan Stewart, James Vinciguerra and Mikey Young) have returned with a follow up to 2011's flawless debut 'Henge Beat'.  'Typical System' is their second offering for Iron Lung, the latest in a line of stellar releases for other worthy labels such as Aarght!, Sub Pop and Castleface.  Over the course of two years the quintet has been working on an album that furthers their genre-side-stepping approach. 

Electro heavy opener ‘Bloody Glass’ sounds like Gary Numan covering Liquid Liquid, something about the vocal delivery and post-disco beats fuses those two bands for me.   "Our fragile subject confuses festivity for a grave militaristic orgy, and pens a carol to document collapse”, Stewart plaintively asserts - telling a story of fractured modern life.  It’s this theme of anxiety, frustration and languor that continues through these 10 new songs.  This is shown best on ‘Two Less Jacks’, utilizing gripping guitar riffs and immense beats to build a cacophony of alarm.  “Cell mate.  Bad taste.  Victor. Know scab”, are some of the scrambled words Stewart delivers in a deadpan call as the song reconciles by finding release from tension. Album closer ‘Safety Net’ is a pop-centric number with far reaching euphoric synths, dynamic rhythms, stripped back guitars and bass which add a whole other dimension to the record.  ‘Typical System’ continues as the band started - dogged, progressive and challenging, taking everyone out of their comfort zones to experience what alternative rock can do at full tilt.