CONTROL TOP – ” Covert Contracts “

Posted: February 20, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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The modern post-punk landscape was in danger of becoming a reductive cliche of itself as it softened its spikes, but Philly trio Control Top are razor-sharp and full of fire in their delivery with their debut full-length Covert Contracts. It’s an extreme case of the personal, political and technologically terrifying converging at the forefront of the conversation as well as attacking your senses, with lead singer and bassist Ali Carter acting as the live wire mouthpiece with a maximalist current from drummer Alex Lichtenauer and guitarist Al Creedon downloading a surge of dark truths from their secret server. In the age of information overload, Control Top are here to tear down capitalist walls and the algorithms set up to pocket millions off of it one piece of the hate machine at a time. When it’s over, Covert Contracts has hopefully hacked a staying power in your brain as well.

If Siouxsie Sioux decided to join the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to make frayed-edge dance-punk, it would probably sound like Control Top. Ali Carter’s voice maintains the ethereal and haunting style of her predecessors, but with a channeling a contemporary aggressive force when she commands: “Quit your job today!” Diligently releasing new music for the past three years has paid off with their 2019 breakthrough tantrum Covert Contractsand they summarized early 2020 by releasing the one-off single “One Good Day,” as in wishing for one. In light of the recent national protests, they’ve spread awareness about Black issues and raised proceeds for the Philly Community Bail Fund and the Black and Pink Bail Fund. But it’s their feral tunes that make them Philly’s best contemporary punk band, so the Dead Milkmen better watch their backs.

“Betrayed,” from Covert Contracts, sums up everything you want to scream at the top of your lungs in 2020: “Betrayed by the nation, betrayed by the fight / Betrayed by the cronies on the left and the right.

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