Soul Control practices that old proverb- if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Being that it’s an error to improve something that just works, their hardcore is at minimum a prime example. So the formula may be simple: skinny drummer, long-haired singer, plaid shirts and beards. Some despise simplicity (add old proverb here), preferring artists that pull off jazz-inspired-soul-grunge-pop-punk. Just no, no, and no. Soul Control’s new EP Get Out Now is sure to bring back reminiscent hardcore kids and new ones alike.
As a band that happily put out a few 7” records over the past couple of years, the 2009 full length Cycles was a miracle- but it’s just not their style. Get Out Now returns to Soul Control’s frantic and melodic roots in a packed five-song EP.
Opening track “Harvester” is absolutely rough around the edges with what are sure-to-be broken cymbals by the end of the song. Building off that is the addition of but not overused drone elements in the appropriately named “Peeling Layers.” As vocalist Rory Van Grol yammers, “I never wanted to be a jealous man” like Ian MacKaye, the comparison isn’t wrong. But if you think they are pigeonholed as Fugazi poseurs, prepare to be wrong Trebek. “Slipping” is a guitar-laden heavy song to the point where guitarist Jim Connolly may actually abuse his instrument in a Swedish Refused style. Imagine the endless piling of fans onto the backs of those who must hold the front row’s gates at shows- glorious.
Drummer Ryan Pitz and bassist Eric Anagnostis shine in the breakdown of the single, “Snake,” and “Hodad Song” lets Van Grol have his big abyssal screams right down to the last distortion notes. It isn’t a perfect record though. It could use an extra song or two as one thing. The other is that it’s not the drone that is boring; in fact every song sounds different. That little extra kick throttling down your eardrums that they are absolutely capable of is gone. It’s little picky crap making the record not an ace, but also not a mistake.
Maybe Soul Control is slightly spit and image to your local hardcore opening band. Somehow your acquaintances know all the words to their songs and jump around. The band leaves every person thinking, “What am I missing?” in an envious way.
But “slightly” was the key term. By nature, Soul Control is more professional and has experience. They do it the old way: extensive touring in Europe’s central and eastern regions that love hardcore, forgetting they are even from Providence, Rhode Island. It’s a.k.a. working your ass off because you want to. It is the “be damned, go for passion” mentality that draws listeners after a few spins. Get Out Now grows into something far more than simple small club variety and into a ferocious blend of music you won’t forget.