Published Jun 20, 2014Total Control's debut album, Henge Beat, may just have been the most under-hyped album of 2011; everyone who did hear it fell in love, and yet the band is still relatively unknown. That won't be the case with their sophomore effort, as Henge Beat has found enough fans since its release to give Typical System the reception it deserves.
Henge Beat's philosophical post-punk came with a healthy side of synth-y intervals, which presented a real curious design. On Typical System, the band come off sounding much more comfortable with their experimenting. Total Control don't waste any time marking their creative contrasts, pitting new wave-glossed opener "Glass" against the snarky punk jam "Expensive Dog." If you aren't expecting it, the effect can feel jarring on the first listen, then elating come the fourth.
From that point on it becomes a guessing game as to what side of the band will rear its head next. However, like pioneer genre-benders Primal Scream, Total Control are a capable bunch, six bodies gelling with each transition they make, so an awkward shift from psych jam "Black Spring" into "The Ferryman," a spacey, synth-strumental, only feels natural.
That Typical System ends with its most accessible track, "Safety Net," goes to show this band doesn't want to play by any rules. As their name suggests, they have all the control over the music, and how they channel that is through wonderful anarchy. (Iron Lung)