Ok, so we’ve been sitting on this album for a while at RPM…literally! I found it, seemingly forgotten, stuffed between a pile of unopened bills, unread Labour pamphlets, punk rock flyers and various promo CDs on my coffee table (yes, it’s a rock ‘n’ roll mess, I’ll tidy it one day I’m sure!).
Damn, how did I miss this fucker? But better late than never, I’m on it like Graham Bonnet. The brand new album from that self-proclaimed “hooligan rock ‘n’ roll” band known as Control.
‘Democracy Is Dead’ is the 5th long player from a band who look as mean as they sound. This band has a fire in their bellies for sure, but singer Iain Kilgallon and his band are more than bovver booted boys in combats and Harrington jackets. They have proper quality tunes as well as a message, and they are passionate about it.
Bells chimes and rousing beats introduce the album as the title tracks spews from the speakers. It’s “Oi-Oi” at full pace, the buzzsaw guitar riffs and low slung licks of Reesy and Ryan prevail, as Iain spits a diatribe of class divide, paranoia and overall disdain.
It’s over in a flash, the first of several anthemic songs that are rich in both melody and meaning. Don’t get me wrong, Control are angry fuckers, they have good reason to be, as do we all. They deliver their diatribes with a clenched fist in the air and a boot towards any authoritarian who questions their motives.
With attitude and melody dished out in equal measures, the likes of ‘Violent World’ and ‘Anti Social Media’ are both clever and well written songs that have staying power and an uplifting vibe, yet still retain the raw, punk rock power we desire. The production is spot on too and brings out the best in this band. The guitar sound is fantastic and the quality riffs are dished out again and again.
There’s something distinctly British about their brand of punk ‘n’ roll music, in part due to the accented delivery of the vocals. Only a British band could deliver tongue in cheek lyricism so well. “Toughen up, or take a long walk…off a right short pier” the singer spits on ‘Snowflake Generation’, reminding me of the Anti-Nowhere League. Elsewhere on the title track “Daddy was a banker. A crooked sod” is delivered in full on Steve Jones style. And if you can keep up with Iain on that tongue twister chorus of ‘American Gangster’ then hats off to ya!
It’s no surprise to find that Rancid’s Lars Fredrikson is a fan; they even supported The Old Firm Casuals recently. When you have a song as good as ‘Just Don’t Understand’ in your repertoire, it’s easy to see why.
In these trying times, with our country rapidly turning to shit and a government hell-bent on flushing us all down the Brexit toilet, it may be the perfect time for a band who wanna stand up and shout from the terraces and tower blocks of the working class Brits to say, they are not ok with the overly monitored police state we live in, and they are not ok with the lying, power-hungry politicians who run it.
‘Democracy Is Dead’ is a fiery beast of an album, choc-a-bloc with choruses that will incite you to chant, lyrics that could incite a riot and a defiant 2 fingers raised in the general direction of our crumbling government. Control could well have delivered the perfect punk rock soundtrack to broken Britain in 2019.
Buy ‘Democracy Is Dead’ Here
Author: Ben Hughes