Total Control – Expensive Dog


A few weeks ago, Total Control dropped one of the most melodic and flat out brilliant punk-pop singles of the year. Or frankly, given the very composed and warm posture of “Flesh War”, ‘punk-pop’ is a lazy and deceptive earmark to pin on it. Instead, it was a rather romantic post-wave, new-wave inspired track that sounded perhaps more like a warm distillation of early Human League or Echo and the Bunnymen, as opposed to the harsh wintry intensity of 2011’s schizophrenic Henge Beat.

On new single “Expensive Dog” the band takes another hard left and treats us with some really driving and intense motoric rhythms joint by relatively warm and convivial textures that in all its intrinsic modesty provide a very rich and animated sound; like if recorded with a whole brass orchestra ( but perhaps layers of guitars and synths are closer to the truth). Taken the very different nature of these two new tracks, the band seems to continue their restless style-hopping introduced on Henge Beat. But this time around, it’s cleaner, more straightforward and with a wealth of cleverness and inspired ideas. New album Typical System is out June 24 via Iron Lung Records.

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