Album Review

Typical System

Typical System

by Total Control

Iron Lung Records
9 / 10
31st July 2014

Reviewed by Max Walker

The phrase "post-punk" has always been a loaded one. It either seems to allude to bands shaving off their Mohawks and/or picking up synthesizers and slowing their RPMs to a fraction of their previous speed. The second album by Melbourne-based group Total Control is undeniably "of the genre" but manages to sound modern and unique, rather than tired and overly Joy Division-esque, like so many of those early 2000s New York outfits.

With song titles such as ‘Systematic Fuck’ and ‘The Liberal Party’, the band literally reference current politics, which is seemingly rare within indie rock these days. The actual messages are "punk", as well as the chugging guitar rhythms of songs like the venomous ‘Expensive Dog’ and the caustic ‘2 Less Jacks’. Elsewhere, Total Control are more restrained and stylized. ‘Safety Net’ is almost anthemic and the stand out track ‘Flesh War’ is a widescreen panorama featuring a spine-tingling keyboard arrangement in the chorus.The band also showcases a playful side on the glitch-pop instrumental ‘The Ferryman’.

Typical System is solid sophomore record that serves to showcase their varied and at times eclectic influences. Tight and well- executed contemporary rock that still retains an intriguing humanity.

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