July 12, 2011 - Bridge Nine
Finding hardcore bands willing to step outside the normal paradigms of hard, fast, loud is sometimes a daunting task. Luckily, there have always been bands like Rhode Island’s Soul Control, who root themselves in the sounds of hardcore/punk, but branch out from there with varying elements. Soul Control wouldn’t be out of place on a bill with bands that Sharpie Xs on their hands and start epic circle pits, but they also wouldn’t stick out amongst a bunch of riff-rockers playing that local dive—you know, the one where all the heavier bands try to paste onlookers against the venue’s back wall with pure volume and fury.
On Get Out Now, Soul Control build on the sound they developed on their previous full-length, Cycles, straying even further from their base hardcore sound. The guitars are more wall-of-sound, the screams and bellows of Rory Van Grol are more European sounding (think Dutch hardcore bands like Razor Crusade, as well as Swedish stalwarts Refused), and the songs as a whole are way more epic. “Snake” sounds like an impending trail derailment, “Hodad Song” sounds like the shape of sludge to come and “Harvester” sounds like early Black Flag by way of late-’90s Dischord Records bands (Kerosene 454, Bluetip, Sweetbelly Freakdown). It’s all very satisfying in a sea of safe copycat bands trying to ape whatever’s hot right now.
Soul Control’s sound isn’t going to win them any popularity contests, and that’s exactly what their abnormal facial hair and who-gives-a-shit fashion sense is trying to tell us: “Fuck it, we’re a bunch of greaseballs who could care less what anyone thinks—just give us a decent PA and we’ll crank our amps to 11. Whatever happens after that is gravy.” Really, the easiest way to sum up Get Out Now is describing it as a mix of the gruff hardcore of Bridge Nine labelmates Ruiner, the riff-rock of Torche and the dirtiness of Planes Mistaken For Stars. But that description doesn’t even come close to doing these new songs justice.