Controlling The Famous – Automatic City (CD)

When “Detox” opens up “Automatic City”, the arrangement that Controlling The Famous bring to the table first should immediately remind individuals of “Waiting Room”-era Fugazi. The vocals come from the opposite side of the spectrum, and finds itself in the camp of Pittsburgh natives Fuel. F-bands aside, Controlling The Famous create a brand of emotive, danceable rock without falling into the dance-punk phenomenon that has been the rage in the last few years.

Something else that should become clear to listeners is that Controlling The Famous are very influenced by thwe acts that preceded them. There are hints of jam bands that make their appearance in “Detox”, where the drums tend to lend themselves to that sound,, and there is even a nod to reggae (Bob Marley) and classic hair metal (“Operation Mindcrime”-like Queensryche) during “Heart Attack”. “Heart Attack” shows that Controlling The Famous is not trying to create a song that will sell sell tens of thousands of singles, but rather wish to craft an album that is supported by each and every track on the disc. This move succeeds, as while each of the songs on “Automatic City” are completely removed from each other, they all share a common thread that will not jar listeners in the slightest way.

Controlling The Famous tie together a number of styles from the eighties and nineties and repackage them into something completely new. The Militia Group has something good on their hands, and while there is a chance that the band will not sell millions of albums, they will be extraordinarily influential for the next generations of musicians that are coming up as we speak. This means that songs like “Highway Parking Lot” tie together the cold atmosphere of acts like Radiohead with the angular rock of early Police and top it off with the intricate guitars of At The Drive-In. The band has their credentials in order, they come up with an amazing album in “Automatic City”, and all is needed is some word of mouth to go through hipster circles so that Controlling The Famous get the promotion that they deserve. “Easy Life” is a holdover from “Two Birds Vs. One Stone”, and works perfectly in the context of this new album, as well as adding a catchiness to “Automatic City” that just was not present until this point of the disc. A step up from their prior disc and just another notch in Controlling The Famous’ belt.

Top Tracks: Easy Life, Heart Attack

Rating: 7.2/10

Controlling The Famous – Automatic City / 2006 The Militia Group / 10 Tracks / http://www.controllingthefamous.com / http://www.themilitiagroup.com / Reviewed 05 May 2006

[JMcQ]

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