You'd be forgiven for mistaking these six tracks (the opening thirty seconds of electronic fuzz can be discounted as a song) for a stopgap offering from Seattle punk-poppers Pretty Girls Make Graves, such are the similarities between this Canadian quintet and their south-of-the-border peers. Both operate as five-pieces with the sole woman up front on vocals, and both ply a fine line in accessible art punk. Problem is: haven't we already heard this all before, and a few years ago at that?
A fellow journalist (and friend) compared Controller.Controller to both Joy Division and Yeah Yeah Yeahs; frankly, I've not the faintest idea where he heard the merest trace of either. History, however accomplished and polished it is (and it really is_ polished; producer Rob Sanzo clearly knows his buttons), amounts to nothing but a so-hot-right-now dance-punk EP with more than a whiff of both the aforementioned PGMG and the spiky disco beats of The Faint and Q And Not U. While that's a decent on-paper recommendation of sorts, C.C's failing is that their glossy studio sheen more or less laminates any soul that wished to escape from songs that sometimes come close to sounding desperate and urgent only to chicken out and stumble into complacency and convention. Vocalist Nirmala Basnayake says that _"if things can go wrong, they'll only go wrong" on 'Silent Seven'; these ears are sorry that things didn't go a little more awry.
As a debut, History is a decent enough effort. Thinking long-term, though, Controller.Controller are going to have to discover some ideas of their own if they're to progress beyond favour-of-the-moment appreciation.
6Mike Diver's Score