CD Review

Ctrl – “Lose the Image”

By Marcus Pan

Lose the ImageCtrl, back in 1999, released Secure the Shadow which Dan Century had a grand time discussing(1). But it's hard for industrial bands to survive for long in this world – projects merge, fade away, get buried under the loose detritus of basement jockeys that, to quote Dan, "take a dump" on their mixing boards to create a scene that at first glance looks vibrant – but is really just a solid waste dump. Industrial and gothic will eat itself, just as pop was predicted to do so. Technology is a small portion of many people's stocking stuffers which means any one of us can go to town and come up with a CD.

But you've heard this rant before. My point in this case was that it was hard to last beyond, say, three years as a rule of thumb (much like most zine's of the day rarely lasting beyond three issues). Ctrl has not only lasted, but have released at least three full length industrial albums that, if not due to the lack of recognition, can easily stand among the top tiers of the industrial ladder. And their lasting this long has lead Lose the Image to be a resounding piece of the industrial puzzle that made 2004 a good year on the whole.

Five Transitions lead us through various parts of image loss. Most hovering just barely over a minute long, they serve to deliver us to what comes next and do so smoothly with an effervescent flair and dreamy arrival. Truth immediately opens us up to just how grownup Ctrl have become. It's as impressive as early synthpop in its make-up and lifts us musically while simultaneously drags us down with its dark lyrics.

Right away Departure is a second full song on the album and already the first three tracks have been kick ass. Departure mixes it up for another dance floor hit in the basements of clubs and homes everywhere. MacAllister's voice has improved dramatically inasfar as my memory serves, and he croons through the interesting lyrics of Lose the Image in excellent style – not once trying to encompass the music and instead embracing it.

Ctrl, in the past, were a bit brasher. A bit heavier. Now they've polished up just a tad to become not so heavy, but much more in their maturing. Lose the Image is a slice of well aged cheese cake – rich and creamy in the middle, crunchy at the edges. Give Lose the Image a try if you find yourself hoping New Order really does come back. It will give you at least a little bit of somethin' somethin' before the older guys get their wheelchairs oiled for the show.

(1) Reviewed by him back in Legends #87.
Contact Information:
Post: 9417 Great Hills Trail #1014, Austin, TX, 78759, USA
Diffusion Records
Post: 4213 Speedway, Austin TX, 78751, USA
Phone: (512) 413-6002

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