Brandtson - Hello, Control (Cover Artwork)


Brandtson: Hello, ControlHello, Control (2006)
Militia Group

Reviewer Rating: 1.5
User Rating:

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

Brandtson reached unimaginable heights a couple years ago with the album Send Us a Signal. It was my #1 album of 2004, in fact, and an examplar of flawless indie rock songwriting with some of the best hooks and melodies I've heard in my years as a music enthusiast. These guys from Cleveland had so m.
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Brandtson reached unimaginable heights a couple years ago with the album Send Us a Signal. It was my #1 album of 2004, in fact, and an examplar of flawless indie rock songwriting with some of the best hooks and melodies I've heard in my years as a music enthusiast. These guys from Cleveland had so much momemtum going into this, their fifth full-length album. Their discography to date is a testimonial to steady improvement and fine-tuning, so going into listening ot Hello, Control, if it wasn't at least a contender for #1 album of 2006 it would have to be considered a bust.

Well, I don't want to call Hello, Control a bust, but I'm not a very happy Brandtson fan right now. It's not just because they set off some alarms in my head with the electronica-styled "Nobody Dances Anymore" and "Stop Machine." It's not just because there's only one really commanding song on the album. The third track "Earthquakes & Shakes" is the only one that has the finesse of any of the material on Send Us a Signal, and even it lags lyrically far behind the band's previous work. The bigger issue here is how contrived and artificial the majority of songs sound, particularly the choruses. Send Us a Signal had a mechanical or robotic vibe to it, but it was balanced out with so much warmth and heart. Hello, Control sounds comparatively lobotomized.

It sounds like Brandtson wanted to build off some of the strengths of Send Us a Signal while taking more experimental liberties. The steady pulsating rhythms of Send Us a Signal are prominent with more foot-tapping and hand-clapping opportunities than the predecessor, but Hello, Control is a clear-cut case of a good idea being taken in the wrong direction.

[originally written for wrecktheplace]


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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.
Kursk (September 14, 2006)

I still couldn't believe Brandtson did this, I was a huge fan of Send Us A Signal as well, this is just, bad.

Anonymous (June 5, 2006)

Q And Not U? Worthless novelty?

Checkyoselfb4youwreckyoself, fool.

Seriously though, 'No Kill No Beep Beep' is a stunning album.

Anonymous (May 29, 2006)

I like the format we got going for this Q and not U "discussion".

Score is for your moms!

Scruffy (May 29, 2006)

Nothing Q And Not U ever did was anything more than a worthless novelty. Score is for Q And Not U.

Anonymous (May 29, 2006)

Power was the most average thing Q and not U ever did.

Score is for Power!

disko (May 28, 2006)

Power was the worst thing Q and not U ever did.

Score is for Power!

GreenVandal (May 28, 2006)

Power was the best thing Q and not U ever did.

Score is for Power!

xote (May 27, 2006)

I like brandston havent heard this yet but for some reason I cant beleive its as bad as everyone is making out to be... but oh well q and and not u's power did suck...

awkward (May 27, 2006)

so everyone hates this... well me too. i couldn't even get to the end of the album, and that is really rare for me. this just sounds like a pathetic attempt to be Q And Not U.

ghostmonkey (May 27, 2006)

I got this the other day, and it is pretty lame. The last good things they did was Dial In Sounds and the Death and Taxes ep. Plus the fuckers owe me a t-shirt - sold me a fucking youth-small - I'm 32....But then again it may be payback for me robbing shitloads of their badges and handing them out at a gig. boo-yah.

Anonymous (May 27, 2006)

historypeats : thank you, it doesnt matter when a band is innovative and they forgot the songs over all their innovation, i prefer good songs over innovative composition...

historypeats (May 27, 2006)

Bah. I expected a lot more than warmed-over attempts at dance rock. The key is not simply to change, but to change for the better; change is pointless if it just means you produce terrible songs. Brandtson has changed, but the end result isn't even good enough to be called mediocre.

Anonymous (May 27, 2006)

number of times "send us a signal" is mentioned = 5
number of times "hello control" is mentioned = 4

you're a winner!

Scruffy (May 26, 2006)

I don't find it enjoyable at all. Brandtson meant a lot to me, both as person and as a musician. The way they blended pop with gut-wrenching emotion was enviable. One of the most impressive things about this band was their passion. This album comes off as cynical, mechanical and constructed. It's not quite an about face, as Send US A Signal took a healthy dose of Police influence, but it was still warm and fluid. This is trendy, soulless crap, and it hurts me to say that.

CellarDoor (May 26, 2006)

Not what was expected, but enjoyable nonetheless. It's a fun CD, nothing more, nothing less.

benz (May 26, 2006)

Brandtson is just weird. Why would you want to make bad dance music? It would be better if it was good dance music.

Inspection12e (May 26, 2006)

I was listening to Fallen Star Collection the other day because I wanted to look back on the good ole days. This CD is absolutely terrible. The songs lack sincercity.

Anonymous (May 26, 2006)

so bad its painful.

Anonymous (May 26, 2006)

You gotta be kidding me that these guys went Electronica. That is sad, some of their older material on Deep Elm was awesome. Shannon Said is their best tune ever. I dont even want to hear this. Boo Brandston!!

Scruffy (May 26, 2006)

I am so sad that this album sucks. These guys have been awesome for years, and are really nice guys to boot. Some of their albums not only are some of my favorites, but should have been huge. This is such a let down. Dance-pop? Why?

Anonymous (May 26, 2006)

tssk....another band that couldn't make the mammoth leap of progression like Less than Jake's new album supposedly has.

if only they had decoded the formula for tepid pop they too could have made the herculean and boundless leap across teh chasm of mammoth progression.....


Anonymous (May 26, 2006)


leifkills (May 26, 2006)

They're really machines. I get it.

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