Total Control
Typical System


3.5
great

Review

by Brad Acord USER (7 Reviews)
July 14th, 2014 | 23 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Typical System could have been far more than typical had Total Control stuck to their strengths

Of recent, I have had a lot of time to listen to music at work. As an Industrial Engineering student intern, I sit behind a computer working with spreadsheets and databases basically all day, crunching data, writing reports, and creating graphs and tables all day. The work is repetitive, tedious and overall pretty dull most of the time. With that said, there is a certain niche in music that I have found perfect for getting lost in my work. This niche of music is not necessarily found within any one genre of music. It is any album that can suck you in and put you in a trance like state. The type of music that can make you lose track of time, until suddenly, the music ends and you snap out of it. For the most part, Total Control has succeeded in creating this type of feeling within their album Typical System.

The opening track “Glass” is a shining example what Total Control does best. The song opens with a simple techno beat and over time is added upon with simple, quick drumming and layer upon layer of added synth beats and effects. The soothing calm lyrics then flood into the song, sliding in perfectly with the beat. The instrumentation remains almost unchanged throughout the entire song except with effects being added and subtracted at seemingly random making leading up to a very intense and hypnotizing closing. This is when Total Control is in their element, sucking the listener into the song and holding them hostage for the entire listen.

Several other songs run in a similar vein as “Glass” such as “Flesh War” and “Hunter”. Total Control is able to make repetitive and calm songs that are the same time building and intense. ‘Black Spring’ utilizes the same catchy guitar riff the entire time through that manages to not get old thanks to guitar effects and synths occasionally building onto the riff.

What I see as the major flaw in the album strikes right after the gorgeous opener. As Expensive Dog begins to play, the entire mood set by “Glass”, is struck down with abrasive and straightforward noise rock. Gone are the electronic effects and synths. Gone is the soothing and calm voice heard in the first track. In their place, Expensive Dog has crunchy and simplistic guitar accompanied by an abrasive and drowned out singing style. Total System uses this style on two other tracks on this album, “Systemic ***” and to a lesser extent “Two Less Jacks”. I find these tracks to the weakest on the album and do little but add variety to it. I would venture as far as saying these tracks even come off as annoying.

I feel that one of the major themes Typical System wished to create with Typical System was chaos. The album leaves the listener with no idea what to expect from the next song. The entire album is extremely varied, even containing an instrumental track, “The Ferryman”, which has a catchy bass rift, drumming and is drenched in synth. In this they succeeded, but the album could have been superior had they focused their energy on creating more songs in the vain of “Glass” as opposed to the style of “Expensive Dog” and “Systemic ***”.

Total Control has created an entrancing experience that could have greatly benefited by playing on their calm strengths and scrapping their noisy creations.

Recommended Tracks
*Glass
*Black Spring
*Hunter



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user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Feather
July 14th 2014


1320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not the type of music I am very comfortable and familiar with, but all in all I enjoyed most of the album.

I have not reviewed an album in quite awhile so any constructive criticism would be appreciated. I don't normally start a review as personally as I did here so we will see how that goes over. I thought it provided some good context for the mood of a lot of the songs.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2014


16152 Comments


I thought the review was good. Also it's nice to see users willing to step outside of their comfort zone when reviewing.

Digging: Alt-J - This Is All Yours

Feather
July 14th 2014


1320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Sowing. This is what I was given in the random album list. Pretty good way to make people step out of what they are used to.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2014


6048 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really great review dude, pos'd. thanks for writing this, it really needed a review. Agree with mos of your points, although I thin the album's diversity is a huge plus and "Expensive Dog" is probably my favorite track here. I keep teetering between a 3.5 and a 4 on this one.

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

Feather
July 14th 2014


1320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ Nice. I knew that there would be people who disagreed with me and enjoyed Expensive Dogs and the huge diversity. Glad to have
your approval.

SeaAnemone
July 14th 2014


20379 Comments


oh no shit. I had no idea about this, thanks for the heads up. their last LP was great.

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2014


6048 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's nothing short of criminal that this review only got six comments.

laughingman22
July 15th 2014


1732 Comments


here have another comment

good review

Digging: Throbbing Gristle - Part 2: The Endless Not

Feather
July 15th 2014


1320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha its alright, these guys must be flying pretty under the radar. Doesn't appear that too many people know about them.

RiffOClock
July 15th 2014


1049 Comments


probably the best album i've heard this year so far. a minor step down from henge beat but still
delightful

i've yet to hear a 2014 record that'll blow me away though

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2014


20758 Comments


What is this? Would I dig?

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

RiffOClock
July 15th 2014


1049 Comments


don't see why you wouldn't jamie. at its core it's noise rocky post punk with a bunch of synth poppy stuff thrown in. their earlier work rocks a bit harder whereas this record is more listener-friendly and less abrasive

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2014


20758 Comments


Cool, I'll check it at some point.

Feather
July 15th 2014


1320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't realize they were harder in the past. I liked this album but I'm assuming I wouldn't like their prior albums if they are harder.

RiffOClock
July 15th 2014


1049 Comments


the spirit is intact so if you liked this one chances are you'll enjoy their back catalog as well

Feather
July 15th 2014


1320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ hmmm maybe I'll give some of it a shot tomorrow. Im not very familiar with this type of music so why not.

SeaAnemone
August 8th 2014


20379 Comments


I rly like this

Feather
August 8th 2014


1320 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Its actually grown on me a little bit.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2014


6048 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One of my favorite albums of the year still. Admittedly I haven't listened to TC's other work as much as this one, but it sounds pretty sweet too so far.

Graveyard
August 20th 2014


5740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

can't believe this slipped under the radar for me. really great stuff here.

Digging: Nurse With Wound - Spiral Insana



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