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Pedro the Lion - Control (Cover Artwork)

Pedro the Lion

Pedro the Lion: ControlControl (2002)
Jade Tree Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: rayjayrayjay
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ahh, the concept album. Many have tried and succeeded to produce a record with one underlying theme, UNKLE comes to mind, as does the good old Sgt. Peppers album by the Beatles. That being said, many too have failed, and many say Pedro the Lion's last LP, 'Winners Never Quit', which tells the story .
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Ahh, the concept album. Many have tried and succeeded to produce a record with one underlying theme, UNKLE comes to mind, as does the good old Sgt. Peppers album by the Beatles. That being said, many too have failed, and many say Pedro the Lion's last LP, 'Winners Never Quit', which tells the story of a corrupt politician's return to grace- not the most exciting subject matter - didn't quite make the grade. So, Pedro the Lion, aka David Bazan, tackled it again with 'Control', and inside he tells the story of a marriage breakdown and the violence surrounding it.

Okay, still doesn't sound that exciting, but the music is what counts, and Bazan really has put his all into this one. One of my major complaints about his earlier work was the lack of improvisation, in that his drum and bass lines were the bare minimum. I know, I don't have the talent to play every instrument on an album, but it sounded a little too laboured for me.

Thankfully, he's gone and learned how to play again. And it really does show, especially on 'Magazine', with it's wandering drum lines and impressive fills highlighting that Bazan is really taking every instrument seriously, and not veiwing it as simply a backup to his voice.

'Options' opens the story, and it's very simple lyrics spell out all thats ahead well: 'I could never divorce you / without a good reason / and though I may never want to / it's good to have options' 'Rapture' follows, and is one of the best tracks on the record, with it's heavily distorted chords and Bazan's slightly muffled vocals creating quite an atmoshpere. 'Penetration' is a biting number that seems to be in reference to the economy and it's effect on the worker, perhaps as a catalyst for disharmony: 'If it isn't making dollars / then it isn't making sense / if you aren't moving units / then you aren't worth the expense'

'Indian Summer' sounds like it's the most upbeat song on the record, but the lyrics are deceiving: 'The experts say you ought to start them young / that way they'll naturally love the taste of coporate cum' shows just how raw and angry Bazan's lyrics ahve been come, but he masterfully hides it behind a jangle pop song.

The story comes to a close with 'Priests & Paramedics' and 'Rejoice', the former a haunting recount of the final confrontation between husband and wife that's brutal realism stays with you for some time. Infact, it's so effective that 'Rejoice' is barely noticable afterwards, and by the time the album has ended you have barely recovered from the quiet assault in 'Priests...' I'd happily (well, maybe not happily in respect to the subject) say that it's as effective as an album closer can be.

It seems to me that the concept of a concept album is not dead yet, and that Pedro the Lion will keep it alive a little longer yet.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (February 3, 2004)

wtf is the definition of a concept album?

Anonymous (January 7, 2003)

Dubar, Trial By Fire will blow you away. Mark my words. If they stay together they will be huge.

-sickboi

Dubar (January 6, 2003)

fuck.. I keep forgetting to listen to trial by fire, and every time I hear about them I have this sudden NEED to be listening to it

Kid Dynamite - Best Band ever

waste_elite (January 6, 2003)

dear kurt:

give me your address so i can projectile all over your face

Kurt_F (January 4, 2003)

Did I mention Pedro is incredibily amazing? Indeed.

Anonymous (January 3, 2003)

yeah, if someone says 'incredible' or 'amazing' again, i'm gonna puke.

-waste

Anonymous (January 3, 2003)

coalesce? converge? ....listen to pedro son

Anonymous (January 2, 2003)

Oh I know. Trial By Fire will be your new favorite band. I get chills of Kid Dynamite memories everytime I listen to them. Definately one of 2002's best.

-sickboi

Kurt_F (January 1, 2003)

Sickboi, Jade Tree is all about the everything. Owls, Cub Country, Milemarker, Lifetime, The Promise Ring, etc.

How is this a concept album by the way? It's just Pedro, only harder.

p.s.- Trial By Fire is freaking amazing. If you don't believe me, at least go to jadetree.com and download their two songs off the audio section. Incredible.

Anonymous (December 31, 2002)

I thought Jade Tree was all about the rock? Kid Dynamite, Strike Anywhere, The Explosion, and Trial By fire. Eh.

-sickboi

Scotty (December 31, 2002)

Coheed and Cambria's "Second Stage Turbine Blade" is the only concept album I've heard. I think it's fantastic. If only they'd cut most of the songs' length in half, it would be much better.

jonbonbandersnatch (December 30, 2002)

ps...as a concept album tommy blows pet sounds out of the water, but as a regular record pet sounds is much better. imho

jonbonbandersnatch (December 30, 2002)

pet sounds, while a really good album, is not a concept album either. whats the concept? i've listened to it several times and have caught no connection between the songs.

i definitely agree with you about the importance of the album, but i dispute the "concept" label. there may have been no sgt pepper without pet sounds and good vibrations.

most definitely somewhere in my top 25 of all time.

Anonymous (December 30, 2002)

If anyone is looking for a good concept album, check out the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds."

The first and BEST concept album to ever be written and recorded...

true that...

God only knows what rock would be without this album...

Jimi

Anonymous (December 30, 2002)

Cursive is your pimp.

Anonymous (December 30, 2002)

my roomate loves this guy, along with hopesfall and embodyment.....I like just about everything he listens to except this guy....i don't get the fuss. Really good lyrically though......he should stick to pop punk... that is what sells nowadays

Anonymous (December 30, 2002)

"pedro the lion puts me to sleep. if you want a good concept album, listen to Cursive's "Domestica."

weird...i was just about to say that.

Anonymous (December 29, 2002)

I prefer Pedro's older, slower, acoustic stuff myself. "Bad Diary Days" (from Winners Never Quit?) is his best song, imho.

rayjay (December 28, 2002)

sgt peppers started out as a concept album, the best way to listen to it is to program your cd player to play it in the order lennon originally wanted - it'll become a little clearer then.

Anonymous (December 28, 2002)

This review sounds like a cut and paste of every other review of this album I have read...your own ideas wouldn't hurt.

Anonymous (December 28, 2002)

"he 1 star is because this band tries too hard to sound like Converge and Coalesce. Come up with something new!"

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Are you actually serious? Holy shit. Listen to one song and try again.

Anonymous (December 28, 2002)

top ten of the year, easily.

Anonymous (December 28, 2002)

"The 1 star is because this band tries too hard to sound like Converge and Coalesce. Come up with something new!"

Pedro the lion sounding like converge? Possibly the funniest comment ever.

jonbonbandersnatch (December 28, 2002)

personally, i think, on the surface, the velvet teen's concept idea is a bit better than both of these, but i guess its the music that counts and i have yet to listen to this.

not trying to start an argument or anything, but sgt pepper is not a concept album. there are only 3 songs that carry the concept the rest is just a really good album. plus, you cant leave out, in my opinion, the two most popular and currently important concept albums: tommy and the wall.

good review anyways.

Anonymous (December 28, 2002)

The 1 star is because this band tries too hard to sound like Converge and Coalesce. Come up with something new!

burstandbloom (December 28, 2002)

Hell yeah, go listen to "Domestica"

Kurt_F (December 28, 2002)

Um, David didn't play all the instruments, Casey Foubart played quite a few, mainly drums.

Anonymous (December 28, 2002)

2nd best album of the year.

-travis

rayjay (December 28, 2002)

i didn't tell you what it sounds like, eh? maybe, just maybe, you should get off your ignorant ass and try something different then.

"listen. read. think. shut the fuck up." - bill hicks

Anonymous (December 27, 2002)

Is this the band that cries on stage?

Anonymous (December 27, 2002)

pedro the lion puts me to sleep. if you want a good concept album, listen to Cursive's "Domestica."

Anonymous (December 27, 2002)

This album is fucking amazing. I've never heard anything so hauntingly disturbing, packed with so much angst, bitterness, and sadness, and yet so catchy and irresistable in my life. The story flows perfectly, and then Priests and Paramedics cuts right through you. He sings it so subtly and emotionlessly, but it will leave your jaw hanging. Probably the most depressing songs ever written. This is one of my favorite albums ever.

Anonymous (December 27, 2002)

I disagree, "Winners Never Quit" was a great album.

evildeadalive (December 27, 2002)

I have no idea what this bands sounds like, and you sure as hell didn't tell me.

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