Seattle’s Control Test plays simple, direct songs and have the kind of 1980s-style belligerence that often gets lost within modern punk. Control Test’s whole package evokes the ’80s VHS punk tapes from the San Francisco-based studio Target Video that featured great bands like the Screamers and Dead Kennedys. The wild sound of Control Test is distinct because the band plays punk music with loud, overdriven keyboards in place of guitars while still succeeding to convey the propulsive energy that guitars usually offer. No small feat. It’s the same gnarly and raw sound but with an inherently different feel because of the more staccato way a keyboard is played. Control Test is unquestionably influenced by the Screamers, who were a legendary LA punk/visual art confrontation outfit that never made a proper studio audio recording but still continue to influence punks today with their paranoid, visionary simplicity and riveting performances. (Side note: Word on the street was the Screamers were more interested in documenting themselves with video than with audio recording, so you can find plenty of great video performances online.)

control test

Control Test maintains an aggressiveness that dispenses with the normal rock conventions. The band sings in Spanish, which is a great vehicle for gut-sourced punk and hardcore vocals (English, Finnish, Japanese and Swedish, too). The desperate and unhinged vocals, combined with lively drums and twin keyboard, make the 10-minute EP a special thing. More please.

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