Control of the Going
Love You More
Love You More is available via:
8th December, 2017
The album, I Love You But It’s Going to Rain, is available from 23rd February, 2018
Sister9; Cargo Records
THIS is my final review of the year…
so it is a good opportunity to mention a band I think will do some great things in 2018. Control of the Going, with that odd name, intrigue me with their approach, music and make-up. I will talk about the guys’ new music soon but, right now, I wanted to look at bands and whether next year is going to be a more successful one (for them); Manchester and why focus should be placed there; mixing Rock and Psychedelic sounds together; interesting promotional ideas; the debut album and why it is such an important thing; why music needs to embrace those who have the passion and energy to succeed; getting music to the American market early on – and how that can make a big difference. I have been a bit reluctant to promote bands this year because the solo artists have been having such a good one. I am looking at what is out in the mainstream and not really blown away by anyone. I have been banging on about IDLES and Wolf Alice – but they have been going for a couple of years, at least. I have been approached by a lot of bands but it is the solo artists that have made the biggest dent. The solo artist has the freedom to express themselves how they wish and are more flexible with regards sound and mixtures. I feel bands are more rigid and have to adapt to a prescribed sound. Many are going for a Rock/Alternative sound that fits into the mainstream whilst others are mixing genres without much success. I am not saying all bands are worth ignoring but it is an easier life for solo acts/duos etc. I feel they can play Hip-Hop, Electro or Pop without having to compromise too much. With that being said; I have heard a lot of promise coming from various corners and hope there are some terrific bands shaping up to make 2018 a fantastic one!
Control of the Going are a group that have the promise and ammunition to make a dent and impression on the scene. There has been a call to promote good solo music and ensure genres like Hip-Hop and Rap are giving more exposure. Pop has been transforming and a lot of the heat has been put on the commercial artists. This means new bands have not really had much of a say and we have seen little to suggest mainstream bands can challenge the established order. Efforts from Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire and U2 have been quite disappointing; records from Queens of the Stone Age and The xx have fared better. The majority of the most-celebrated albums of this year have been from sole artists. Everyone from St. Vincent and Lorde through to Thundercat and Sampha have produced stunning work. Maybe it is the lack of inspiration from bands or the changing demands of the public. The only way the new breed of bands are going to get fired up and compel is if they have guidance and support from the mainstream. Control of the Going have been looking around and sourcing from the coolest, most credible and pioneering bands around. They take from the past but, above all, have stepped away from the predictable path and created a song that is all their own. I think too many bands are replicating what is already out there – that is leaving people cold and meaning solo artists get a bigger say. The Manchester-based band has taken the trouble to sprinkle original elements into the mix and have been playing a lot of gigs. All of this honing and performance means their material is solid, tight and deep. I feel they can get to the mainstream and, whilst it might take a couple more years; they are going to inspire others are settle very well there.
It is hardly a surprise I am excited to see a Manchester band come through. I have written pieces about the city before and have been keen to explore the acts from there. Everyone from False Advertising to Pale Waves are adding their own magic and angles to the rich Manchester scene. I feel London has been getting a big say and we have centralised and localised the music industry. What annoys me is the assumption that, because most of the big labels and radio stations are down here; that means all the best artists should be. It is not the olden days anymore: radio stations can broadcast further than a few miles and we have communication tools that allow us to listen to artists from Manchester and other parts – that means influential stations in London can hear that music and play it. I have also talked about Glasgow and Leeds: other cities that are making incredible music and should gain more focus. Manchester has been inspiring and world-class since the 1980s. The legends like Joy Division and The Smiths; The Stone Roses and other 1980s local folk inspired the 1990s’ idols like Oasis and The Chemical Brothers – you might even lump Take That in with that category (although they are not ultra-cool!). Something wonderful was happening around that time and it seemed like the working-class innovators were reflecting greater desires in society: people were yearning for truth and prophecy that was not being provided by the government. Now; Manchester’s tones have changed but the quality has not dipped too much. The city deserves acclaim and coverage because it is among the most eclectic and quality-focused parts of the country. I have grown a little weary of London’s sounds so have been pining towards Manchester.
Control of the Going are part of the new movement and show what can be created when you buck trends and do not rely on the capital for motivation. That might be counter-logical and a way of delaying success: I feel they are going to get to the big-leagues quicker because they are taking a more impressive and uncharted route. Maybe 2018 will not be The Year of Manchester but I am confident the shift will start to shift from London to the North. Later today; I am going to write a piece about Oasis and why many are desperate for the Gallagher brothers to unite and get the band going again. It is not a case of a nostalgia hangover and yearning for better days. I feel there is a chasm in music that is not being filled - let's hope that is remedied very soon. Alternative/Rock music is out there but there are not many fresh and addicting young bands coming out. Manchester, as mentioned, has some quality bands who can fit the bill – PINS and False Advertising two of the better-known and acclaimed. Maybe their sound is a reaction to that Oasis need but, in the case of Control of the Going; they are able to summon some of the epic grandeur of Oasis but no copy what they have done. The sextet project immense power and swagger but they blend that with subtler, colourful strands. I feel too many bands race in with gnarly sounds in the hope excessive adrenaline and shout means people will take notice. A more intelligent and refined sound comes from Control of the Going. Maybe it is a rebellion against the worst instinct of mainstream bands – I feel it is the ethos and philosophy of the Manchester scene. Artists here are more engaging and reflect the personality and candour of the people. If London-made music is defined by cosmopolitanism and urgency: Manchester is about warmth, intelligence and risk-taking. That is why I feel Manchester is going to take more of the media next year – we know how warm and inviting the city is; we want a bit of that in our musicians.
Perhaps that is a vague and odd assumption but I am confident Manchester will do well in the battle to gain the mainstream media’s ear. I have been reluctant to focus on Rock and Alternative sounds this year because of the relatively damp offerings from the mainstream. Aside from The War on Drugs, Wolf Alice; Phoebe Bridgers and their ilk – there have been few standout Alternative albums from the year. You can quibble with terminology and genres all you like. Maybe there have been some impressive Rock/Alternative albums but there have been far fewer than one would expect. Consider the quality coming from Hip-Hop, R&B and Soul and you have to ask questions. From Mercury-nominated artists like Sampha and Loyle Carner; U.S. treasure from Kendrick Lamar and SZA – one has to wonder whether music’s shifts and demands have given up on Rock. That might sound depressing for Control of the Going but it is actually a positive. They are not an out-and-out Rock band but they are, in essence, they inject passion and older-times glory into their work. I listen to their work and see a blend of innovative new and classic Rock. One gets a hit of the 1990s-Manchester with the innovation of the modern scene. It is a complex and difficult time for Alternative/Rock sounds. There are few guiding lights and other genes are taking the majority vote. The reason I am excited by the likes of Control of the Going is the lack of commercial lure they have. They are not compromising and taking an easy route. A lot of Rock bands think replicating the best of the mainstream is the way through; they have the guts and patience to listen to the local scene and put their ears to the ground – detect what the city demands and what is happening around them.
Maybe it is a risk ignoring what is happening in the charts and taking a longer route to the mainstream. Control of the Going want to succeed and build their own reputation and have a wide range of influences. I feel the plain and direct brand of Rock – Foo Fighters and Royal Blood – has been done to death and lacks necessary innovation and variation. The more successful Rock/Alternative artists of the year – Wolf Alice included – blend other genres in and are making music for the smaller crowds and finer venues. Royal Blood and Foo Fighters (other bands included) are too focused on stadiums and making something city-sized and charmless. Those who speak to the common man/woman; get under the skin and think about nuance – they are going to do better in the long run. I am hopeful there will be a Rock revival but I do not think the current ‘best’ will be responsible for that. It is the new breed of hopefuls that will spearhead a rebellion and movement. London will be a part of that but, given the strength and community happening in Manchester; I am more hopeful the North will be at the forefront. One can look at Sheffield, Leeds and Glasgow and realise those who reside in largely working-class areas are attuned to the foundations and mandate of true Rock – sounds that have a blue-collar heart and a compassionate mind. The development and new success of Control of the Going mean they are definitely doing something right. Most of their acclaim is local at the moment: national success will arrive when their upcoming album is released to the public. That comes in February and it will be interesting seeing how it is received. I am looking at their single and can hear the passion and quality in the music. The guys have hit a rich vein and look set to make a name for themselves next year.
The debut album is an important and difficult one in a lot of ways. You have little idea what critics want and whether the public will react. Control of the Going have performed a lot and showcased their material to the public. They gauge a reaction and see which songs get big love and what they want to hear. It is a different case when you push that music out to a wider audience. It is hard appealing to everyone and getting it ‘right’ the first time out is a real enigma. You have to go with instincts and have faith in the material you are making, Whilst it is important to have an original bent – and not copy the mainstream acts you like – you have to take a little bit from the popular sounds of the moment. Getting that balance right is tricky but one a few acts have achieved. I know Control of the Going will continue to rise and appeal. Their music has a universal vibe and can stick in the hearts of the majority. That taken into mind; I hear a lot of new strands that are unique to them. The boys bring in Psychedelia and the kind of experimental edges one will recognise from some of the most pioneering acts from Manchester – the likes of Stone Roses among them. Whilst the kind of trip and colour the Control’ boys are brewing is not quite the same as Ian Brown’s crew; they have a potent and exciting palette that differs from traditional, boring Rock. All of these components and considerations mean the band are primed to impress with their first L.P. They have worked hard on it and know the challenges before them. They are not racing ahead and assuming they will be stadium kings in a couple of months. They have put in the hard graft and will continue to plug and pervade through next year.
I Love You But It’s Going to Rain is going to be one of the most anticipated albums from a new act in 2018. I know it will succeed because the guys have been gigging and working for a long time. They have been monitoring how crowds respond to their music and adapting it to get the biggest reaction possible. Their patented blend of Rock, Alternative and Psychedelic sounds stirs together and elicits a heady smoke. You listen to the sounds and get a mixture of familiar and unexpected. The guys know how to hook the listener in – expect their debut L.P. to get some positive and impassioned reviews! I will talk about where the guys can head next year but, right now, they have been going about things the right way. There have been local gigs and a lot of support from Manchester. They played Gorilla – their biggest-ever show – to four-hundred people and got the chance to play their material to an enthralled crowd. The boys have played gigs in the Northern Quarter and go public support from Clint Boon. The band hosted three nights to preview the album at PS; there were seven screenings where fans eagerly packed in to hear the new album come to life. Also; Torrside Brewery – a local brewery – developed a bespoke beer called …It’s Going to Rain. All of these ideas and events have helped promote the band and got their music out to the people. Getting local reputation and hype is essential for any new act. I have seen few with the same drive and innovation as Control of the Going. It is clear they are a popular and extraordinary live act; companies want to lend their support; radio stations and journalists are behind them – all bodes well for a bumper year ahead.
The guys have a rare and endless energy and sense of motivation. They are always looking to build their work and make it as strong as they possibly can. Not only have they captivated the local fans: their music has been played on American radio. KEXP has spun their music and paid tribute to an album that has the promise to own the year ahead. I know I keep making predictions about 2018 but it is exciting seeing artists emerge who can change music as we know it. The guys of Control’ are going to take the initiative and ensure they keep the pace up. Getting that American respect this early on is vital. They already have a market over there and means, as it turns out, they get U.S. dates. The boys will promote the new album over there in February and bring their local accent and popular sounds to the American faces. I will speculate how far they can go (in the conclusion) but getting an American ear this soon means they are in a better position than most of their peers. I think the guys can build on this and spread their music right across the U.S. One wonders how long it will take before they are worldwide names – able to command acclaim right around the world. That might be a few months off - but it is clear I Love You But It’s Going to Rain is a stunning work that connects with the people. It will be exciting seeing how they go down in the U.S.A. I know radio stations there are reacting but taking their sound to the live circuit there will be a different matter. There is a different pace and geography compared to the American market. The boys are used to the Manchester flavour but, getting experience playing in a nation like the U.S. means they can take those skills back home and strengthen their gigs – that will lead to bigger, bolder material.
Snarling, ‘ave it large strings open the song and project images of debut-era Oasis. That is not a lazy comparison but a piece of praise. The guys summon the same quality and instant intrigue but do things their own way. You get a rousing and boozed coda that has control and focus but a sense of adventure and mischief. The song kicks out of the gates but never gets too heated and rambunctious. The skill and composure of the band mean you have time to bond with the introduction and build up the imagination. I was thinking of various scenes and possibilities. The lengthy opening means images will flood and the listener conspires right from the start. The song is one of dedication and fond passion. You imagine the hero with the girl and having that sense of comfort and safety. Given the fact their album title seems to suggest contrast and changing fortunes; I go into the song assuming there is fracture and imminent shift. That might be premature but one gets a sense of hazard and caution in the vocals. The song impresses with its blend of haziness and strength. The band is very tight and together but there is room for experimentation. One of the only problems with the song is a lack of vocal clarity. The composition is too high up the mix and the vocal a bit too low. A lot of the words are either muffled or drowned by the instruments. Whilst some words are detectable and clear: there are quite a few that pass by because of the way the song is projected/mix. That is not a big drawback because one can extrapolate the mood and direction of the song. You are gripped by the composed and calm vocals – yet, the impression one gets is a man who has some troubles brewing in his heart.
You get a sense that, although there is love and connection between the sweethearts; the girl should not believe him all the time. Maybe there are harsh words or false promises; some regretful times and occasions where the mind and heart have not been connected. The swagger continues and you are gripped by the cool-as-crap lust and Psychedelic underpinnings. Past the half-way mark; there is a chance for the instruments to stand out. The guys combine and project a vivid and physical phase that carries on the song’s messages but creates new wonder. The hero proclaims his love and (will love her more) than she’ll ever believe. That loyalty and belief is strong and should not be taken for granted. The middle section is a chance to clear the head and consider what is happening. The tinge of caution and reserve makes me thinking there is deep thought and pondering. The vibrancy and affection leads the mind in the direction of the sexual and sensual. It is a curious contrast and blend that gets the mind working in different ways. It seems the girl has been wary and not believing the hero – the lyrics become clearer as the chorus takes dominance and place. It is nice to see that audible focus and clarity in the latter stages. That mantra – disbelief and a one-sided love – makes me wonder whether if the bond is near an end or the hero’s dedication is being tested. Whatever the roots and origins; one gets inside the song and makes themselves a spectator. It is fascinating to watch things unfold and mutate; the way the song twists and emanates new possibility and avenues. By the final seconds; you have to take it all in and wonder how things turned out. I feel the relationship will survive and continue but there are definite obstacles and differences. The girl might lack real conviction but the hero is determined to change her thoughts and keep things in the black. Love You More is a fantastic offering from a band that will accrue more fans when their album arrives in February – expect 2018 to be a very special and exciting one for the Manchester band!
Make sure, in February, you get I Love You But It’s Going to Rain. It is an L.P. that has already garnered positivity and praise. I am sure that will expand and explode when the record is unleashed. Love You More is a tantalising glimpse of what to expect. The song demonstrates what flexibility range and quality the band already have. One hears them and gets a great blend of live-sounding freedom and the studious discipline one learns in the studio. The material gets straight into the head and gets the heart racing; the body activates and the blood surges. Those reactions are not what you get from all albums out there. The six-piece have been working long and hard to create an album that speaks to the masses. That is what has been missing from music this year. I have not heard too many records that get under the collective skin and stays with you long after listening. I am hopeful the underground will show the mainstream how it is done as we head into a new calendar year. The Manchester band are preparing for a series of gigs to promote their debut album. They will head to the U.S. and have the opportunity to gain a foothold there. I am not sure what dates they have lined up but I can see them doing well on both coasts. The West Coast looks for that dreamy and colourful locker – music that fuses sunshine and granite into something complex but liberating. The East wants something with urgency and sounds that match the bustle and complexities of the street. Maybe that is a generalisation but one notices differences between the two coasts. I feel the boys could gain success anywhere they travel and have that open and malleable music that does not exclude and isolate. They end a fantastic year with a single and promise to suggest they will have a storming 2018. It is a song that bounces around the head for days and keeps the mind working and the voice singing. I know that will happen and they will rule and reign. Love You More is a stunning song that provides a sensual kiss: I Love You But It’s Going to Rain is an album that rips off the clothes, puts a limp in the step…
AND a smile on the face!
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