From my rock, I demand my choruses rousing and my riffs hypnotic. I demand the opportunity to bang my head and stomp and raise my fists, to dance and whistle as I break things in my room into little pieces. I gun for the underdog. I want songs that fucking mean something, that mix strands of honesty and humbleness with ambition and guts.
Was this album tailor-made?
Locus Of Control were born to be together, born to bypass trends together, born to make this noise, blood bubbling and creativity bursting. They are undeniably emotional, unashamed of exploring their strengths and frailties to the full – one only has to contrast singer Spen’s ethereal voice on the divine 'Degrees of Separation' to the heavy musical chaos of 'Saltwater Smile' or 'Dead By September_'. It is a wonder to behold heavy rock constructed with such versatility, consideration and musical aplomb.
Standout track 'Bromide' (despite its pointless and drab 2-minute introduction, before the song kicks in) is simply killer, soon to become anthem for a beaten down subculture with its "This is what you get for trying" chorus. For those who slip between the cracks of fashion, musical trends, social coolness, for those with the shitty jobs funding your artistic pursuits – this will load you with goosebumps.
Curiously, the most recurrent lyrical theme is that of religious disillusionment – the individual’s relationship to god comes under the hammer a few times. How wonderfully unfashionable it is to query faith and the omnipotent, as on 'A Deeper Harm' Spen utters “Please god hear me say it’s not the voices in my head that make me pray”. Contrasting, then, is the subject of 'Ladybaby' – a brief pop metal assault, whose lyrical content is eerily reminiscent of the sordid eroticism of J G Ballard’s Crash. It isn’t misogynistic at all, but is thorough in its delving into the darker parts of the human psyche – all this combined with colossal fluid riffs and accelerated heart-beat rhythms.
To overview the album: Helmet-like riffs are apparent throughout, and upbeat, fractured, time-defiant breaks provide a challenging intellectual aspect to the music; opening track “Anhedonia” blisters for a chorus or two, and then – warningless - transmogrifies itself into some warped giant robot dance. However, with two of the songs ('The Comfort Of Repetion' and 'Blameculture') possessing entirely different productions to the rest of the album, the overall flow is somewhat sabotaged. The only downside to the album is the production of these aforementioned songs, which sound unfairly nu-metal-esque, complete with disgraceful Metallica** snare drum sound. But, really, these are minor and easily forgivable glitches.
This is not emo, this is not grunge, this is not metal, this is not just another Welsh rock band. This is all hormones and guts and shimmering hooks and heavy beauty. Fast/slow, all-encompassing rock brilliance, Locus Of Control is a refreshing sonorous heart attack. I would go deaf for this band so long as they were the last thing I got to hear. I pray that this will be massive.
8Dan Kiener's Score