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Local Flavor

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Album Review

Due credit has to be given to Blues Control — for all that they've still only formally released one album plus some CD-Rs, the duo has enough of a sound already to not only run with it but expand on it. Thus the rollicking funkabilly start to Local Flavor, "Good Morning," with guest saxophone from Jesse Trbovich and trumpet from Kurt Vile, not to mention dramatic piano stabs, as essential as the brisk drumming and mind-melting guitar parts. From there Lea Cho and Russ Waterhouse continue to further take their sound to intriguing locations over a short length of time (the album totals four songs at a little over half-an-hour). The moody, drowned piano flow of "Rest on Water" — energetic while fighting through murky depths — also features Trbovich's saxophone; it provides entrancing shading not far removed from Dif Juz's '80s explorations (though Vile's acoustic guitar is sensed more than heard). "Tangier" returns to the core duo and a steady marching chug of an arrangement, plucked guitars melting into a steady upward-and-out swirl of dreamy keyboards and drones while drums keep a persistent kick going. "On Through the Night" concludes things not with a Def Leppard tribute — though that would be something to imagine — but with a swelling build of organ and guitar that's a rapturously dark crescendo. It then shifts to a slow drum punch and new keyboard melody that's more 1981 Factory than 1969 acid trip, a lovely variation. If it doesn't sound like Sunn exactly, but it does sound like it was recorded in a similar-sounding cathedral.


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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Local Flavor, Blues Control
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