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Blues Control

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Album Review

Starting with the utter (and utterly joyful) scuzz of the title track, which by default must be the band's statement of purpose, Blues Control on their formal debut release via Holy Mountain kick up some righteously battered sound qua sound. There is blues in the band, but none of a specifically formal sort — at its highest volume and most violent, and maybe especially with the brief soloing on "Double Chin," this is the ghost of whatever was kicking around in everyone's heads in the late '60s when metal wasn't codified as such and there was no such thing as a fuzz pedal too overdriven. At the same time, this isn't revivalism, either, and although this is a duo there's no comparison to be gained by invoking the White Stripes' continuing formalist art project. The music throughout sounds collapsed, distorted, and lo-fi not as an excuse but as a conscious way to craft, and as a result Blues Control's work suggests a broad range of references, from Flying Saucer Attack's elegantly angry waves of guitar bliss to no wave extremism to the dirtiest kind of garage rock and back again. Everything from soft piano metronomics and exquisite feedback float (the latter especially on "Migration," shaded by keyboards to boot) to whatever guitar is currently being abused in the name of eardrum rupture goes through the one-room-over-and-lots-of-echo treatment, and the resultant murk is often graceful and warmly enveloping, form following function. "Hummum" might actually be the best track in its very low-key way, wheezing tones and a scrabbling, bubbly guitar line conjuring up an atmosphere between film noir and a European winter. Coolest touch: the clock chime melodies that crop up in the evil grind-down of "Frankie's Problem."


Formed: Queens, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Comprised of Russ Waterhouse (guitar, electronics) and Lea Cho (keyboards), Queens-based noise rock duo Blues Control established themselves as an enthralling live act and, following a series of limited-edition releases on cassette and vinyl, made their official CD debut in 2007 with a self-titled album on Holy Mountain. Blues Control made their recording debut in January 2006 with a self-titled cassette on the label Palsy. The Riverboat Styx cassette followed in September 2006. A year later the...
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Blues Control, Blues Control
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