- Total Control at the Crocodile in 2011 / K.C. Fennessy
From the reaction of the people I follow on Facebook and Twitter, I appear to be in the minority, but then I think we've all been craving new material from Mikey Young and the gang since their fabulous full-length debut, Henge Beat, though the guys have hardly been silent since they released a digital-only collection of singles just last year, simply titled 7"s, which is far better than your usual assemblage of odds and sods.
As for the Manchester-inspired "Flesh War," it starts off like a lost Joy Division track with an in-your-face drumbeat before segueing into slipperier Magazine territory, in part because singer Dan Stewart has a bit of a Howard Devoto thing going on (the versatile Stewart also plays drums in UV Race). So far, so good.
But then, at the 1:34-minute mark, they crank up the synth portion of their post-punk attack, which is usually more skeletal in nature, and end up sounding like a more sedate Midnight Oil. I don't hate that Sydney outfit by any means, but I don't love 'em either; it's just that a little goes a long way (the only song of theirs I can really get behind: "Kosciusko" off 1984's Red Sails in the Sunset).
I'm still looking forward to the upcoming Total Control album, but I plan to keep my expectations in check, and hope the other songs rein in the keyboards more.