Don’t you hate it when you hear a great song on the radio and then buy the band’s CD, only to find that there are just one or two songs you can listen to and enjoy? Brandtson’s Hello, Control is precisely that kind of an album – a disappointment. Seeing that the album was released by The Milita Group (the same label to which Lovedrug and Copeland are signed), I expected this to be at least a halfway decent indie rock album. Instead, the group’s seventh full-length CD failed to capture my interest.
Adam Boose’s use of synthesizer and vocoder is quite cool on a few tracks such as “Goodnight Sweet Prince,” but is most often uninspired, adding little if anything to the overall sound. If more of the album’s songs were like “Parallels,” a song with genuine depth, I wouldn’t be complaining. Despite the many layers of instruments and vocals, however, the majority of tracks on Hello, Control feel void of any actual substance. This band seems to be deeply influenced by other existing groups, like Franz Ferdinand and The Killers. Brandtson appears to be content copying other “indie” contemporaries (poorly, I should add), instead of actually producing good, original music.
Although the majority of the album is lackluster, the song “Nobody Dances Anymore” does have some redeeming qualities. This bass-driven song has a lot of energy and earned the band a spot in an ongoing MTV2 battle of the bands program. If you’re a fan of other emo/indie groups like Lovedrug, you may enjoy this release. But, as always, sample before you buy. Spending your hard-earned cash on a less than satisfying album can be a dismal experience.