controller.controller Sneaky Dees, Toronto ON, February 13
Published Feb 14, 2015Headlining the "Past" night of Wavelength's "Past, Present and Future"-themed 15th anniversary were long-lost TO band controller.controller. Once a leading light of the local scene, the band imploded in 2007. But with the pressure of living up to their hype gone, the five-piece appeared relaxed and amiable, if a little rusty (something the group itself admitted) on the tiny Sneaky Dees stage.
Singer Nirmala Basnayake led the group through tracks from their debut EP and lone album. "History" and "Silent Seven" got the crowd grooving, but a busted bass guitar halted the proceedings. A bit too long of a wait later, they got the show back on track with "Poison/Safe," their best-executed song of the evening.
During their initial run, controller.controller often came across as detached and aloof, a quality that certainly separated them from your average dance-punk band (an important weapon to have in the mid-2000s). Here, that all melted away into a performance that seemed as joyous and cathartic for the band as it was for the audience.