The Forgotten - Control Me (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Forgotten

Control Me (2002)


The Forgotten have always been on of "my" bands. Their last full length for TKO, "Keep The Corpses Quiet," became my soundtrack for an entire summer and I still love that album dearly. "Corpses" blazed along, taking typical street punk tunes and thrashing them out like speedy hardcore. With "Control Me," the band's BYO debut, the Forgotten sound far more subdued. The shift in style between "Corpses" and "Control" left me somewhat disappointed on first listen, but the record revealed its charms when I put my expectations aside. 

While the Forgotten's tempo has slowed their songwriting has grown in leaps and bounds. Instead of the hardcore of days past, many of the songs here are rollicking, sing-along Oi that lend themselves best to live situations with lots of crowd interaction. Tracks like "Social Security" and "Same Old Story" are sure to become staples in the band's play list for years to come. "Respect & Lies," which was demo'd on Sample This Too!, is a great example of how Gordy's vocals have significantly strengthened in the past two years. Craig, fresh off stints touring with Lars and the Bastards and the Transplants, adds some great solos and continues to be one of my favorite punk guitarists. As always, the rhythm section is solid with bassist Johnny and drummer D'Kash driving the band forward. Hepcat's Scott Abels (a fellow Bastard along with Craig) covers the drumming duties on a handfull of songs also.

Although I was disappointed in the lack of speed, there were lots of pleasant surprises here. "Listen" just may be the best song the Forgotten have ever written. If anything it reminds me a bit of latter day The Damned with a reggae backbeat. "Our Response" is pub-rock that lyrically shows that a band can be patriotic yet not blind to America's faults. Other songs are peppered with enough rockabilly licks to make Social Distortion proud. Its these qualities that keep my faith in the Forgotten. There may not be a single track that has the same fiery urgency as "Corpses," but the album is still chock full of interesting moments.

While "Control Me" may not top "Keep The Corpses Quiet" for me, it's still a solid release that's more developed than most street punk out there. The Forgotten's greatest quality may be that they've yet fall into that generic rut that so many bands in this style do. Fans of Rancid, the Swingin' Utters, the Dropkick Murphys or Social Distortion should check this out.