The Buzz On: Controller


We're newly obsessed with Controller's angular dance rock.

We don't like to brag, but we get a lot of new music submissions at Buzzworthy. And as much as we'd like to make EVERYONE a STAHHHR, few bands have piqued our interest quite like NYC's Controller. Wanna know why? Well, call us jaded, but lately it seems like every Brooklyn band just wants to play sad sack, pastoral, manic pixie-approved indie rock. And while obviously we're major suckers for the aforementioned manic pixie indie rock, one listen to Controller's angular Bloc Party-meets-U2 dance rock has us yearning for, say, the year 2004 -- that faraway time when people actually lost their cool and danced to rock 'n' roll.

Listen to Controller after the jump.

Controller is led by Jonathan Bellinger, who, as a Yale grad and the creative director of an Manhattan advertising agency, is kind of like a post-aughts Don Draper (if Don Draper didn't mind listening to The Beatles, that is). Although Controller is without a record label (to which we say, HOW?!) and does all of their own publicity (which should be easy when the leader's in advertising), the four-piece originally got their start in 2012 by playing around at neighborhood house parties, which eventually led to improvised sets at dive bars, which eventually led to recording their very first self-titled EP, released in February 2013.

Showcasing the band's heavy-hitting post-punk/no wave vibe, Controller's three-song EP is brief but shows enormous promise -- especially if you still lead most of your dance party mixes with anything by Bloc Party, Phoenix, or Joy Division. Starting with the brashly melodic "Kicking and Screaming," Bellinger's urgent vocals hit the perfect balance between Kele Okereke and very early Bono, followed by "Make It Up," which basically sounds like U2's "With Or Without You" making sweet, sweet love (TMI?) to Bloc Party's "Like Eating Glass." (Have we made enough U2 and Bloc Party references yet? Too bad!)

Finally, "Control," the EP's third track, is a percussion-heavy ruminative diary entry about getting older: "Tick tock, I feel time stop and turn into a tight knot in my mind," sings Bellinger. "I remember such a different time/ I remember when it was my head/ I remember when I didn't mind/ What have I become?/ I'm under control." Well, as long as we're paying da bills and watching friends get married on Facebook, we might as well distract ourselves with a balls-out dance party (and then get back under "control" for another day at the office).

Listen to Controller's EP any time you want (it's available in full on their Bandcamp page), keep an eye out for their upcoming summer East Coast tour dates, and get ready to hear a brand-new single later this year. And while you're at it, will you sign a petition to have Controller play at my next birthday party?

+ Listen to Controller.

Photo credit: Controller