I have noticed that I often stress it when a band is from South Africa, mainly because I have not adjusted to the fact that South Africa is now producing acts which are capable of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their international counterparts. There is an even stronger need to stress it when talking about South Africa’s metal scene – especially when it comes to the post-hardcore bands.
Metal is not a genre that is particularly popular in South Africa. This means that the local scene is relatively underground obscure with a lot of the bands leaning to the heavier persuasions of metal. It is a rare occasion to come across bands that play into a more mainstream, radio-friendly sound – or at least a radio-friendly sound that would earn them playlisting on radio stations like BBC Radio 1.
When coming across Climate Control and their new single “Tidal Wave”, you are greeted with a technical skill to rival the likes of Brand New, Taking back Sunday and We Came as Romans. They skilfully slip in and out of thundering guitar riffs and a soaring screech of melody. A constant force upon the single is the vocal prowess of Nicolas Gonzalez. His vocals deliver a unique sound in a genre where clean vocals are either incredibly high-pitched or they’re raspy and raw. In this case, the vocals straddle the gap between being high-pitched and raw and cathartic. The touch of both Joey Sturgis and Clinton Watts can be felt upon this song. You sense from the heavy, down-tuned guitar break-downs that Watts allowed the boys in Climate Control to bring some influence from Bury Tomorrow into the mix, while the clean melodic sound of the recent Of Mice and Men album can be heard in the more melodic aspects.
Climate Control serves up a remedy for the struggling metal scene. By delivering a song that could easily be consumed by a mainstream audience, they open the channels for metal to take a stronger foothold within South Africa. Climate Control are an inspiration for all South African youths who are interested in creating music: create what you like, not what you think will sell.