Controlling The Famous – Two Birds Vs. One Stone (CD)

Controlling The Famous plays a brand of rock that does not lean specifically to any one genre; the tracks are all proper without being boring, but might be a mite too anti-septic for popular success. Minor hints of Weezer insinuate the music on “Two Birds”, but largely, what can be heard on the disc is pure Controlling The Famous. Controlling The Famous’ big rub comes in the intense backing-beat that is created during tracks like “Easy Life”.

The band works together like a well-oiled machine, and this intensity blows past any issues concerning their lack of experimentation in the rock genre. It is only during “Crime Scene” that Controlling The Famous put forth the same ecstatic energy with the overall sound of the track that has previously been such a hallmark for the band. The production value of “Two Birds” is fantastic; this fact may just be due to Brad Wood’s (Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair) expertise at the board. Some of the best moments on the disc come in the least expected moments of tracks like the aforementioned “Easy Life”., which forces listeners to listen in even closer when the lyrics stumble onto the brilliant “I want the easy life: I want to fuck in the sun”. Controlling The Famous might have moments where they find a radio-friendly groove, but the density of each of the tracks on “Two Birds” make a number of listens essential to properly get the band.

The screeching guitar lines during “Crime Scene” may seem a little off in the dreamy-vocaled landscape that has been the norm throughout the rest of “Two Birds”, but really make sense, as they are the equivalent to the incredible vocals present on the earlier section of the track. The EP format works extraordinarily well for Controlling The Famous, as each one of the tracks on “Two Birds” focuses in on one of the facets of the band. The band is well-stocked in terms of different tools with which to ensnare listeners, but I’m not sure if the band has it in them to finish an entire full-length with the same innovation that the EP has. There are moments during “Two Birds” where listeners will begin to have their interest flag (such as the droning ending to “Chemicals”), but these moments are fortunately few and far-between. Still, the presence of these weak sections makes my confidence in the fact that their full-length will duplicate the successes of the EP wane.

Top Track: Easy Life

Controlling The Famous – Two Birds Vs. One Stone / 2005 New Math / 5 Tracks / http://www.controllingthefamous.com / http://www.emusic.com/label/109/109176.html / Reviewed 08 July 2005

Rating: 6.6/10

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