Soul Control
Cycles

It is a good thing my opinion of Soul Control’s choice of band name is not the same as that of its debut full-length on Bridge Nine, Cycles. If that were the case, I would be ripping the album to shreds. As it turns out, I just find Cycles to be a decent enough album of semi-expansive hardcore, just not a very memorable one. And yeah, the name sucks.Cycles boasts plenty of hardcore aggression to go with a relatively dynamic songwriting style, meaning that it is not a straight forward gang-shout-chug-and-breakdown kind of album (those have their place too though). In some ways, it reminds me of A18’s in your face, yet varied style, although Soul Control falls well short of matching that level of excellence. Interspersed throughout is a medium sized amount of AmRep rumblings, mainly Unsane and a pinch of the Jesus Lizard (without the same degree of abrasiveness). “Silent Reality” in particular has that mid-tempo, kind of noisy Unsane cadence and even gets a little spacey. Yet even here Soul Control can’t quite match that balls-dragging-on-concrete roughness of the AmRep vets. In other cases, you get at least a modicum of melody in some of the guitar lines, as exemplified by “You’d Sing Too.” Unfortunately, tuneful does not translate to catchy, which is something I find happening for the duration.

On the whole then, Cycles is best left to those whose genre of choice is hardcore, as opposed to those metal fans that like to add a little hardcore to their diets (like me). There is nothing repellant about Cycles. Hell, it’s fairly well written. It’s just not violent enough or catchy enough to make me care about it one way or the other.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
October 14th, 2009

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