Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the union, so you would think that with them already delivering Verse, they’d be all out of good hardcore bands. Well, they are not, because Soul Control is equally as, if not more, impressive. The four-piece band delivers a modern take on 90’s post-hardcore popularized by the likes of Quicksand and Burn. Involution is comprised of five brand new songs and the band’s recordings from their self-titled 7” and split 7” with I Rise.
Soul Control sets things into motion with their five new recordings, the lead song being “On Survival.” The song is chuck full of Jim Connolly’s grooving riffs, easily the most identifiable attribute of Soul Control’s music. These team with an excellent rhythm section and vocalist Matt Amore’s slightly rough spoken yells - think Hot Water Music with more force. The title track follows in a similar light, but highlights the band’s incorporation of melody with some excellent guitar work. “Dance of Shadows” is Quicksand inspiration at its highest. “Mindwalking” lasts just over a minute, and seems to, unfortunately, never fully develop. “Fear and Freedom” has some nice harmonized guitar parts towards its end.
Soul Control then delivers their two tracks from their recent split with I Rise. “Focus” shifts the band into overdrive. The song is a high-octane cut reminiscent of early Snapcase. “Self Delusion,” on the other hand, is a bit more brooding in nature. The song is more drawn out and abstract when compared to the previous number. Involution concludes with the songs from their self-titled 7”, which saw a release earlier this year. For me, these were the songs that got me hooked on Soul Control. The throwback sounds of these four songs, particularly “Dive,” had me reminiscing about the bands of this sound that first got me into hardcore.
Musically Soul Control has me recalling “the good old days,” which is a nice feeling, in of itself. But what really makes the band so appealing is Amore’s introspective lyrics and self-analysis. He shows that we’re all human and that’s something that I’ve always loved about hardcore, the fact that we’re all living and dealing with the same situations in our lives.
With this lite-discography, Soul Control have offered up a middle finger to all those bitter old hardcore kids - no, Jason, I don’t mean you… or do I - that complain that hardcore just isn’t what it once was. They’re right that it isn’t and will never again be what it was, the early 80’s explosion can only happen once. But rather than cry about the fact that you weren’t born then or that you were busy listening to new-wave, you can grab a copy of Soul Control’s CD and enjoy some of the best hardcore of 2007.
8.5 / 10
Cycles marks a couple of firsts for Soul Control. After a slew of releases (an EP, a split 7”, a comprehensive CD release also featuring several new songs, and a ...
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