Soul Control - Involution (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Soul Control

Involution (2007)


Chalk it up to experience in other bands (Verse, What Feeds the Fire), but Soul Control have been together little over a year and are already one of the most promising hardcore bands around. Their debut on non-CD-R compact disc comes in the form of Involution, a compilation accumulating all the band's recorded material thus far plus five new songs.

Soul Control is an interesting band because in the scheme of modern day hardcore, few others touch upon such a striking hybrid of influences and themes. One of their few peers, Lion of Judah has done a good, refreshing job of this, sporting the same Bad Brains nods, but where their striking difference lies is the integration of Fugazi's angularity, whereas Soul Control have earned a wealth of deserved Burn comparisons for their foundation of early 1990s Revelation Records acts.

That being said, those themes tend to revolve heavily around self-reflection. It's actually to the point where singer Matt Amore even says at one point, in the not-so-subtly titled "Mindwalking," "I'm on a mindwalk through outer space because I've come to realize I don't quite like this place." While it is admittedly amusing, Amore tends to be a little more articulate elsewhere on Involution, and in any event, his spiritual advice is a welcome departure from thoughts on straight-edge, backstabbing and brotherhood (see: 90% of the bands they've played with).

The five new songs open Involution, with "On Survival" barreling out of the gates after a little bit of a quiet drum roll -- and a noticeable lower register to Amore's vocals, but it's cool. The songs overall aren't quite as good as their preceding material, but it just might be due to my not being able to warm up to them live yet. They don't slouch, though; after the intense, artful breakdown of "On Survival" comes the dynamic "Involution," with Amore punctuating his words in a fast, smooth flow. "Mindwalking" and "Fear and Freedom" take it to a solid mid-tempo groove.

The four songs from their demo and two from the split with I Rise are the "elder" tracks here, and are as great as ever. They have new bass tracks and are remixed and remastered, thusly exploding out of the stereo better than ever before.

Now that the seeds have been sown, the proper full-length should start to root. Let's hope that tree grows skyward in 2008.

On Survival