Controller.Controller are finally releasing their highly anticipated debut full length, X-Amounts, in the US. A follow up to their noteworthy History EP, it can also rightfully draw comparisons to Blondie for its disco punk sound. A couple of questions came up for me when asked to review this album. First off, will this album be able to follow the hype of the History EP; and second, are people in 2006 still interested in the disco/dance punk sound? Well, after listening to the album it was clear that the band have become better musicians with a more cohesive sound. X-Amounts opens with "Tiger Not Daughters," which starts off with snarling drums, and leads into a brilliant fat bass line that works its way into a classic garage sounding guitar riff. This completely compliments Nirmala Basnayoke's dark and sultry vocals, sprinkled with what sounds like electro hand claps. All the components work well here. Jeff Scheven's drumming comes in at all the right moments, making for perfect dance punk harmony. "PF" and "Straight In The Head" follow in the same vein, immediately creating a solid electro dance punk foundation for this album. "City of Daggers" and "Poison/Safe" are the epitome of electro dance punk, exemplifying the band's ability to pick up and make music representative of where the band left off on their last release. Although, Basnayoke's sultry vocals have been compared to Debra Harry, they're more reminiscent of Siouxsie And The Banshees in the "City Of Daggers" track, with its goth-like lyrics and punk attitude. First single, "Heavy As A Heart," is the most straight-forward rocker, with driving bass lines and catchy, sing-a-long hooks that pull the second half of the album together nicely with the first. The world may not be going nuts over disco/dance punk right now, but I've waited two long years for this album, and it was definitely worth the wait. And isn't there a saying that says its better to dance to the beat of your own drum?
Paper Bag Records