Manchester needs bands that provide the music for its’ collection of rainy back streets and long coated poets. Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, we’re not saying that Control Of The Going are in the same league as The Smiths or Puressence, but they’re certainly cut from the same cloth where the lovelorn just want to sing a song.
After much ado and hype this young band have released their debut album, I Love You But It’s Going To Rain, let’s have a look!
Here at colourhorizon we first noticed way back with the single ‘She’ that Liam has a lyrical preoccupation with life cycles. Here he stretches it across the whole record, creating a lightly flavoured concept album about life and growth, and the importance of love within that cycle. The result is a surprisingly mature record by such a young band, and a record deeper than it’s psych trappings would have you think.
Take ‘Warcrime’ with it’s race car guitars, amidst which Liam sings “I was looking for a girl like you”; from the start he is playing the part of the lonely post punk raincoat wearer. It is only on subsequent listens that this line at the start of the album echoes through the rest of the songs as you realise that he constantly refers to the same girl. But for now, you’re happy with the rolling bass and crisp drums that glide over the middle distance. We’re off to a rollicking start!
The delicate intro to ‘Star’ may be the highlight of the album. Acoustic guitars and pleas made in quietude right up until “why don’t you be my star tonight…” at which point the songs kicks in full sensaround as the party gets started as love ignites life. ‘Be My Star’ may not be the most elaborate chorus you’ve ever heard but it’s punchy, you can sing it on the first time of hearing and it is an actual chorus, which puts it above the deluge of cut-rate psych out there. Liam’s taken off the raincoat. He used to be believe everything he read, but now he’s stepping out. Life takes fresh turns.
‘Love Your More’ rides on a Chameleons groove and cut glass guitar. Once again, the chorus may be simple but it’s very effective and wraps itself award the riff to make a great sing along standard. Matt’s fizzing drums really add to the effervescence.
I was surprised to see ‘The Message’ not only resuscitated from earlier days but split into two parts at the heart of the album which, to be honest (we’re all friends, here) doesn’t help the pacing of the album, but it’s a great song nonetheless. Here it’s been shorn from the cowboy trappings of the earlier version and even more rendered more plaintiff and elegiac. It still has a silky smooth glide over a fibrous guitar traction. It winds down for an extended white out before flowering again for a new spring and the evergreen ‘The Message’ lives on.
From here we launch straight into the highly succesful single, ‘She’ that has bought them a new level of audience and fanbase, as well as getting them played by Clint Boon at his club night. It cuts a swathe through the album like a monorail cutting through an urban metropolis. Musically it’s unstoppable and has proved to be the same in life. That riff’ll be reverberating round the rainy streets for years.
The beefier ‘You’re Mine’ rests of the heavy repetition of the title to instil a rigorous, unnerving chorus. The riff pours from the speaker like neon lava.
It’s fitting that Clint Boon from Inspiral Carpets has fallen in love with Control Of The Going as ‘Save My Memories’ could easily fit onto the second half of The Beast Inside. It has that swirling, garbled snap — and then rides off into golden sunsets, the slightest hint of melancholy off setting the tranquility.
The rollicking, rabble rousing ‘Welcome To The Family’ kicks up dust with its ramshackle Happy Mondays all-in, pills ‘n’ thrills vibe. It’s just as exciting as being embraced by a family and made to feel welcome within it, as life reaches a new turn.
‘Fade Away’ ends the album; an exposed nerve and twice as painful. The cycle ends, as it must. It’s rather reminiscent of The Fall’s ‘Weather Report Part 2’, Mark E Smith’s last moment of genius. You don’t deserve rock ‘n’ roll.
There are some lessons to be learnt though: the production is guitar heavy to the point of squashing the bass and leaving the keys almost indiscernible. The vocals are and similarly hard to make out, making Liam’s plans at a concept album a bit thwarted by the mix. The best bits are those that show a greater degree of subtlety and more of these would have bought out all the shades in the music. The listener all to often has to squint to shape the detail through the buzz of guitars. This vid, with Mr Boon (play that tune) shows the delicacy of the songs, and the results are sensational…
But Echo & Bunnymen didn’t make Heaven Up Here at the first crack and, in fact, this is a good comparison, if we see Control Of The Going as Mac and his boys for the 21st century then this is certainly equates to Crocadiles.
Or whatever, this is a mighty fine debut album. Well done, boys!