When: Thu., Aug. 6, 7 p.m. 2015
On their 2011 album Henge Beat, Melbourne’s Total Control have the tendency to get erratic and noisy—a pulsing, dissonant synth drives the opener, “See More Glass,” which then bleeds into the ripping guitar and drums of “Retiree”—but last year’s much-praised Typical System (Iron Lung) is calculated and sparse, the instruments stalking one another in a unnerving game of cat and mouse. The tracks are mostly hazy slow burns, often tipping their hat to ominous early-80s synth-driven dirges drowned in apathy and hopelessness. But despite how prevalent and well executed that sound is, Total Control remain a rock ’n’ roll band at their core. Founders Michael David Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring) and Dan Stewart (UV Race), perhaps realizing that two dudes onstage with a bunch of synths might just make for a boring show, have made permanent members of their touring drummer and guitarist. The seven-minute-plus “Black Spring” is paved with a low buzz, but what gives the song its hypnotic power—even after feedback and harsh noise come raining down—are the motorik drumming, twangy repeated guitar lick, and expressionless vocals. This long overdue visit to the States is their first since Typical System’s release. —Kevin Warwick Total Control plays a sold-out show later tonight at Empty Bottle.