Published Jun 26, 2014In 2011, Australia's Total Control released their debut album, Henge Beat, and instantaneously demonstrated that the band's cornerstone was their ability to be unpredictable from track to track. Their long-brewing follow-up, Typical System, out this week on Iron Lung Records only strengthens that case. Speaking to Exclaim!, songwriter/guitarist Mikey Young says the diverse makeup of Typical System is a result of the band's ability to channel all the music they love equally.
"I definitely don't sit around and think, 'Hmm… we need our quota of synth songs for this record, I must write one,'" he says. "I just get bored and don't want to hear the same sounds all the time or make the same kind of song. We are all music fans and get psyched on different things we hear and I'm sure it kicks us in certain directions when we get obsessed with certain records."
Young doesn't feel Typical System is vastly different from its predecessor, but does believe the band are getting better at what they collectively do. "[Typical System is] kind of the same but spread a bit more in all directions," he says. "It's maybe a little more confident to pace ourselves, or maybe a little more confident to be sensitive."
One of the most striking things about the album is its cover: a photo of a peace dove that Pope Francis released being attacked by a seagull and a crow this past January. As suitable as the chaotic image is to the music, Young says he had nothing to do with selecting it.
"I've never seen this photo before the cover," Young admits. "You'd have to ask the designer, Bart de Baets. I know James [Vinciguerra, drums] sent him an onslaught of emails covering our musical and personal influences and how we are as individual people. I'm not sure how much of that had an effect on the final outcome, or whether like me, he just thought it was a sick photo. I am guessing his reasons go a little deeper than mine though. He did an amazing job, regardless."
"Flesh War" can be streamed below. The song is nearly five minutes long and continues the band's tradition of experimentation within the post-punk genre. While their penchant for hard-hitting rhythms remains in tact, the track features some of their most melodic work yet.