Head Control System – Murder Nature (CD)

Head Control System – Murder Nature / 2006 The End / 11 Tracks / http://www.headcontrolsystem.com / http://www.theendrecords.com / Reviewed 09 July 2006

The back and forth of the distortion that starts out “Baby Blue” does not properly introduce individuals into Head Control System. This is due to the fact that Head Control System play a style of rock that blends the current nu-rock movement with rock from an earlier time (Fu Manchu, Alice in Chains). What results is a band that can make it big in the current period, but has the chops to be appreciated by music aficionados. The only thing that can be said about “Baby Blue” is that the six and a half minute runtime for the track is too long to be played at any heavy rotation on rock radio; perhaps, if the band drops the introduction and a stanza/chorus, the song would both be more robust and ready for rotation. “Skin Flick” continues the same general sound of Head Control System, but the interesting change here is that the band has cranked up the instruments to be at a level where they struggle for dominance.

Tracks like “Masterpiece (of Art)” throw in a set of tribal drumming and a strung-out, stoner rock guitar solo into the mix. While the music that is played is not anything that has not been heard before, the density in which Head Control System couch each and every one of their songs on “Murder Nature” is something new. The repetition that is gentlely changed with each iteration on “Blunt Instrumental” is perhaps the best idea that Head Control System gives us for being able to understand their abilities on “Murder Nature”.

While (obviously) the track is instrumental, the ability that the band shows both in terms of their ability to play music and to tell a story with the music that they play is unsurpassed. The instrumental may clock in at less than four minutes, but the band is able to modify time itself and make the song feel as if it runs for over ten. After shucking away their more radio-friendly persona (only coming back to it during the HIM-sounding “It Hurts”), head Control System is able to pull success after success out of their collective hats. This is good, heavy, hard rock that does not conform to any one genre; here’s to hoping that this side project is an act that can continue on unabated in the near future. For fans of Tool, Ulver, and The Mars Volta; if those bads are good (to you), pick it up.

Top Tracks: Baby Blue, It Hurts

Rating: 6.2/10

[JMcQ]

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