Friday, November 05, 2021

The Control Freaks - Get Some Help

For their third album, The Control Freaks have surprised us with several ballads, a beautiful piano piece that will move you to tears, and a seven-minute operatic number about the pointlessness of human existence. Just kidding! The Control Freaks will always sound like The Control Freaks, and who would want it any other way? Delayed six weeks by the record-pressing crisis of 2021 but out today on Dirty Water Records, Get Some Help is hands-down the album of the year. It's also one of the best records that Greg Lowery has ever played on -- which is really saying something! On board for Get Some Help are new rhythm guitarist & co-lead singer Amy and new drummer Rob (not to be confused with lead guitarist Rob!). The band is sounding as good as ever with this formidable new lineup. As always, The Control Freaks combine the coolest elements of all of Greg's previous bands into one perfect punk band. If you loved Supercharger, The Rip Offs, The Infections, and The Zodiac Killers but have yet to hear The Control Freaks, you've got some catching up to do! The Dirty Water promo kit heralds this album as a "future classic", and I will not argue that point. I'm notoriously curmudgeonly about how so much of today's so-called "garage punk" is neither garage nor punk. Maybe I'm just not keeping up with what the kids are digging these days, but I find myself longing for the "Rip Off Records" sound on a constant basis. Well here's the real deal from the guy who literally defined that sound! 

Get Some Help is 13 tracks of catchy three-chord punk rock full of humor and raw energy. The songs rarely go too far beyond the two-minute mark and lend themselves to a variety of responses such as singing along, dancing in your underwear, and flipping off your neighbors. We'd probably be grateful if Greg were still making records half as good as he did 20-25 years ago, but honestly he's still in peak form with this band. If you were out and about and heard the title track, you might think it was an old Rip Offs song that you somehow missed. When I first heard "You're A Moron" and "F.B.I"., my response was that you've got to be some kind of genius to pull off songs this dumb! "My I.Q." brings much-needed attention to a mysterious medical condition that afflicts millions of young men in the presence of attractive females. "Gonna Be A Riot" and "Lockdown" are topical and great fun at the same time. "Popgun" literally throws it back to 1977 with a terrific cover of Mary Monday's Bay Area punk classic. 

I don't know how they've done it, but The Control Freaks have managed to get better with each new album without changing anything about their approach to music. This band is the walking embodiment of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Get Some Help is the sort of classic style punk rock record that I can never get enough of. Credit Greg Lowery for always finding the right partners in crime. Amy Munoz (an absolute powerhouse on vocals!) and Rob #2 have stepped right in as if they were destined from birth to be Control Freaks. I have a great deal of respect for the band and label for holding off on the official release of Get Some Help until the LPs were in hand. That makes the long-awaited release day more special. If you don't like this album, you need to get some help!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great review Josh. Always honored when you like my stuff!
Greg Lowery