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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Pedro the Lion
Control
Jade Tree Records

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Damn, Layne Staley is dead. If I hadn't already been feeling old - my friends all gone, my life creeping up on the back side of my 20s - I would certainly feel outdated now. Seattle's heroes are still fading - even Mudhoney has had to replace Matt Lukin - but for each loss a new entity blips upon the radar screen. When Kurt Cobain departed, Sunny Day Real Estate soon surfaced, like a skewed post-rock reincarnation. As Staley's time expires, David Bazan comes further into his own, making a statement that should echo beyond the underground.

I think that there must come a time in every person's life when they come to terms with who they really are, and for David Bazan, that time is now. Where Winners Never Quit signaled the transition from catchy adult-friendly Christ-pop, Control sharply state's Bazan's arrival to the podium of the mass consciousness.

Written, recorded, tweaked and re-recorded, Control was originally slated for release in 2001 but was delayed at the mercy of Bazan's perfectionist nature. Having developed his own sense of control by recording Control's sister album, Damien Jurado's I Break Chairs, Bazan now has complete control of Pedro the Lion's potential, with his own studio at his disposal and his authoritative vision finally catching up with his moral drive.

This album hit me from the beginning, the opener "Options" spelling out the introduction to the moral story behind Control and setting the pace for the album's stride. It becomes immediately apparent that there is something intense and vital behind the songs on this album. Just listening I begin to spiritually rock out with the last 30 seconds of "Penetration" (which was penned alongside Seldom's Casey Foubert), to a degree that I could scarcely have imagined would result from a Pedro the Lion album. Bazan has reached a plain, and this is new territory - he talks about cum a lot on this record.

While each track save for the poorly revamped version of "April 6, 2039," vocoded and renamed "Progress," has it's strong points, the climax doesn't begin until the magnificent "Magazine" and isn't finished cresting until "Rehearsal" is complete. At that point, the end is in sight, the fictional couple at the story's heart having gone from the opening prenuptial declarations to the disillusioned murderous threats played out like scenes of Winners Never Quit's "Never Leave a Job Half Done." The resolution of conflicts plays out in the closing triad of "Second Best," "Priests/Paramedics" and "Rejoice."

Like a great novelist, Bazan exhibits great vision with Control, from the developed storyline behind the concept to the positioning if the key tracks. Control plays out from beginning to end, with a strenuous buildup, a satisfying climax, a few vicious last gasps, and an exit. This album is an opus, and anyone who doesn't sing Control's praises is either stupid or just plain mean, and more than likely both.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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