Total Control are the latest band from the blooming Australian garage rock scene to start making waves on an international level. Labels like Goner and In The Red have been hooking us up for a while now with releases from the likes of U.V. Race and Eddy Current Suppression Ring, but Total Control’s debut LP Henge Beat – out now on Iron Lung Records – is the best transmission from the Down Under-ground (no, I’m not sure that’ll catch on either) so far. Featuring members of both aforementioned bands (including ECSR guitarist Mikey Young, who appears to be something of a Jack White figure, guesting on and producing many of the scene’s key releases), Henge Beat favours synths and post-punk over rock & roll, referencing Suicide, Devo and even – at its poppiest – the likes of OMD and New Order. Sure, “Retiree” races by amid a blur of thrashing Buzzcocks guitars and there are hooks littered throughout that will linger for days, but it’s the propulsive Krautrock rhythms and primitive electronics that give the album its distinctly dark character. There is a kinship with peers such as Liars and Sonic Youth evident in tracks like the menacing, skeletal “Meds II”, but Henge Beat is far from foreboding; in fact, while closer “Love Performance” shares a chilling intensity with Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, it is also as fist-pumpingly, life-affirmingly triumphant. The band will be playing at All Tomorrow’s Parties in December as guests of Les Savy Fav; catch them if you can, and grab Henge Beat from the Iron Lung store (www.ironlungrecords.bigcartel.com )while stocks last.
Listen: “The Hammer” http://soundcloud.com/total-control/the-hammer
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