Verkuylen (The Red Light Sting), Mark Colavecchia
(North Of America), Dan Tompkins (Got To
Get Got), and Chris Vanderlaan (Animal Names / Buzzing
The pursuit for
a contemporary definition of “punk” is stretched and incessant.
While current splinters now imply a rigid set of sonic rules dictating
a specific tempo, tone and simplicity, or, more perplexing, a chain
store consumerist and mall rock slant, one can’t help but question
if these modern variations in any way retain the spirit from which
punk was birthed.
debut full-length, Best War, undeniably captures something along the
lines of what punk spirit might have once meant to some, but considering
the gray area in which the current definition resides, the parallels
Perhaps it is
the anxious and inspired energy with which the four piece plays. The
recording is a testament to this; recorded over two days in an East
Vancouver garage, one gets an immediate sense of the ferocity of the
performance - the drums pound and ring in a way that can only be achieved
with the hardest of hits, the vocals stress and distort like they
were belted through a blown PA (which, it turns out, they were).
Or maybe it’s
the detailed yet raucous guitar work. Dan’s brilliantly precise
technique juxtaposes Mark’s bending fuzz with unique character;
the former displays an irrefutable talent while the latter tilts its
hat to both Sonic Youth’s earlier work and sheer bombast. The
combination is absolute.
This is not to
say that Baby Control is necessarily a punk band; in fact, the four
members might deny the connection completely. Similarly, the music
itself betrays punk's three-chord race to the finish and ventures
into jangly, mid-tempo pop territory, occasionally adopting a blues
swagger. Always dense with discord, the guitar and vocal lines still
somehow infuse themselves with hooks.
the mish mash of influences, Best War sounds unquestionably focused
and direct, a gorgeously flawed declaration from a band with a sharp,
"Hard and riffy. Dirty and noisy. Baby Control, the newest band from Ache Records, venture into noise-punk with erratic guitar riffs crashing around them. Fronted by Zoe Verkuylen who wails, screams and occasionally sings, their songs contain only slightly more pop structure than Ache Records anti-music group, Winning. They piece together abrasive, crashing protests to pop music with just enough song structure to make the album pleasant to listen to. Spilling angry, erratic sounds out all over the floor, you’re left realizing this is exactly what you wanted–a mess of sound hitting you in the face. The four piece is unified best by what appears to be a barely controlled direction in the dynamic style of their musicianship. Just because Baby Control plays music that doesn’t sound much like the music you’d normally listen to does not mean they are not talented musicians. What do I know about you anyways? Maybe you listen to agressive noise-punk all day, everyday. Maybe you’re in the Mutators. That would explain it. Either way, you might notice similiarities between the two bands.
While the album barely clocks in at 22 minutes, it doesn’t feel like it’s missing anything in the 11 tracks that compose it. Verkuylen screams, “I don’t want to sit and wait” on opener “Gun Face”, warning you to expect the constant impatience of their dynamic music that rarely keeps a beat for more than 30 seconds before switching it up. “Young Love/Youth Troll” is a gritty, relentless two minutes of musical chaos that sets the tone for the rest of the album that follows. Baby Control have managed to successfully record a sound that Vancouver’s scene has been honing for the last year or so. Noise-punk is here to stay and Baby Control is bringing it home." - Discorder
"Addictively melodic and gloriously messy, Best War is as badass as it is charming."
Vancouver quartet that's blasting out some seriously sweet punk-pop
mayhem. They categorize themselves as "grunge" and their
influences section just says "Nirvana," but aside from their
general location and their obvious love for yelling and loud guitars,
there's not too much to tie them to the descriptor. Actually, the
boys playing the instruments sound like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in their
more Sonic Youth-y moments, and vocalist Zoe Verkuylen sounds closer
to Kathleen Hanna or Bratmobile's Allison Wolfe than any grunge chick
(even when the band is actually covering Nirvana)."
- Chicago Reader
the debut full-length by this Vancouver/Seattle four-piece as "punk"
gets it only half-right: while this dark tale bristles with that genre's
belligerent energy, it also boasts the kind of dynamics that belie
the fact it was recorded in a garage. The sound quality and half-buried
vocals might reflect its origins, but pretty much everything else
betrays them. And we mean that in a good way."
- The Star