William Control, you may recognise him if you're in to the rock music scene, and you would be right to as he is from the punk/rock band Aiden. In 2008 WiL Francis decided that he was to take a break from Aiden and in fact pursue his own solo career, which to date has now had a total of 2 albums released, with a new one upcoming in 2012. WiL's main reason for breaking away from the band (although this did not mean Aiden were no longer!) was due to the fact that the solo project he had in mind was very different to the music style Aiden were, thus not wanting to change the bands reputation.
One thing about this album already just to warn you guys before you listen! It's very, very dark, there are some quite upsetting lyrics in the album, and also a real life 911 call, which is distressing to listen to. I was lucky enough to see this album on tour, and I must admit it was probably one of the weirdest gigs I have been too, which in away made me happy because not only is the album dark and obscene, but the stage show itself compliments the album beautifully.
The beginning of this album, this prologue, really just sets the dark tune for the whole of the album. With lyrics like "You will not like me now and you will like me a good deal less as we go on" and "I am William Control, and I did not want you to like me", it kind of makes you worry about how dark the album really is. I think WiL has such a great way of setting a mood for an album, and although this Prologue makes you anticipate what is to come, even though you know it's going to be one hell of a dark album.
2) Beautiful Loser
Now, this is probably the happiest song on the album, maybe to perk you up a bit after the Prologue!?! Even though I said its happy...I was referring to the backing of it all...the lyrics are still messed up in times "F*ck, f*ck, f*ck, I wanna f*ck til we bleed". This is one of my favourite songs, and I think this song completely proves how different his solo stuff is to that of Aiden's. It's a great first song to start off with, and this was also the first ever song anyone had heard by William Control as he in fact uploaded it on his MySpace profile for all to listen to...for free!
This song just has a dark feel to it to begin with, the guitar and the bass is just deep, slow and gives a 'creepy'. When the lyrics kick in, yes, it confirms it is in fact a very dark song, "He picks her up and ties the rope, so tight her cuffs are swelling black and blue", oh dear, this really isn't a song for the feint hearted! This song does have a rather 'happy' chorus when comparing to the rest of the song. Now, if you're listening to this song around friends or family...I would probably mute it or turn it off at 2minutes 30seconds...mainly because there is a very 'sexual' part to the song...which last for like 35seconds, and from first hand experience, it's an awkward moment when someone walks in to you listening to this song!
4) Hate Culture
This song does have a very similar beginning to the previous song...but it is slower and still sets the dark mood. This song does have a very slow feeling about it, as well as a very electro feel throughout the whole song. The lyrics aren't as dark as the previous...but then again the lyrics couldn't get any darker in the last song!! The song, although being the albums name, is slow, and if anything a bit boring! I like the song yes...but there's not so much excitement in it.
I love the start of this song, in fact, I love this song altogether. It's a very electro feeling track with a really soothing beginning, yet again WiL is proving how different his solo career is to Aiden. A track like this makes me really confused if this is in fact the same WiL from Aiden...his voice sounds so different, very deep and mesmerising. The lyrics aren't that dark considering previous songs, but there is still that dark element "I've made a trade for your soul, I'll give you mine". This song is relatively short, and does seem to be over the second you started listening to it, which is unfortunate, but it's a good song...mainly just a repeat of the chorus, but still a good listen!
6) Razors Edge
Yet another song with a very electro feel, yet unfortunately this song sounds very similar to 'Hate Culture', not sure what it is but there are huge similarities unfortunately. The song is very dark again, but a bit heavier on the instrumental side of things. The lyrics don't sounds that dark, but when you really listen to them, "Show the world how to fear and blaspheme, here's the rope pull it tight, show me dark and obscene". I love how the song is slow for a majority but does pick up and has a very dark spoken 'rap' by WiL halfway through. The 'rap' builds up to the catchy chorus, not a typical catchy chorus, but still.
7) We Are Already Here
This song, if you can call it that is really just a 12second 'skit'. It features children saying 'William Control' and 'We are all going to hell'. It's disturbing...mainly because it's children saying it!
A very deep bass to start this song, followed by the electro feeling synth. It feels like an upbeat song and doesn't feel half as dark as the other songs, which is nice as it's more like the 2nd track on the album. I must admit though, this really isn't one of my favourite songs by him, it's kind of boring, and easily forgettable! I do love the chorus though, it's upbeat and catchy! This song is mainly about religion, "I don't believe in God, like you believe in me", which is a first for William Control!
9) Don't Cry For Me
Another short song now, but a dark one still. The song lacks the electro feel, it's still present but not as much. It's got some hauntingly beautiful guitar in it, and the beat of the song is also a toe-tapper. This song, like another on the album is forgettable, it's worth a listen, but if it came on my iPod I would likely skip the song, it's boring, and really just not for me.
Now, the electro feel is back, and its a long intro to the song...which is a bit repetitive and you just want the lyrics to kick in! When they do, they're almost 'acoustic' as there is not really much going on behind WiL's voice. This song has a mixture of emotions in it, it has the anger, it has the sympathy, and it also has a very 'governmental hate' feel to it.
11) The Whipping Haus
Now, with a title like 'The Whipping Haus', you kind of know what to expect...it's got the electro start, which is accompanied by a very 'disturbing' sex sound, oh dear, another very dark. The lyrics keep up with the very dark theme, "The whipping haus trades sex for human slaves", "All choked up on vomit", to me this song is more about the bondage 'dominating' sex that many people desire, mainly due to the lyrics, and the backing behind the song of the constant 'sex audio'. I do like this song, it's up-beat, a little weird and above all DIFFERENT. Something you would have never heard of before.
12) London Town
I love this song so much! It's a beautiful acoustic song, just an acoustic guitar, chillingly brilliant violin and then WiL's dark distinct voice. It's such a lovely way to end the album. The lyrics aren't actually that dark either, which is really a nice change. It's got a more of a love song feel to it...not like a typical ballad love song, but the whole feel of it. In my opinion this song is expressing his love for London, as it is one of his favourite places (Camden to be specific), and the song is called London Town, so there you go...
I advise you to turn the album off after the London Town as noticeably finished, if not there is a hidden 'track' which is highly distressing and still upsets me when it's on, it's a real life 911 call and it's not a pleasant one to say the least!
With a running time of 46minutes and 34 seconds this album is unlike anything you will have ever heard before. It's dark, its different and it certainly makes you worry about what's going through WiL's head for him to think of the lyrics to these songs! It's a great album, and definitely worth a listen if you're into the very alternative music. However, if you are wanting to listen to this album because you love Aiden and want to hear more, don't. It's so unreal at how different this stuff is compared to Aiden, even WiL has changed a lot vocally!
Three pieces of trivia for you here...which I never knew until 'researching' the background a little bit...so I made sure my facts were correct:
1) The prologue of this album is in fact featured on the 2005 film 'The Libertine' featuring Johnny Depp.
2) Beautiful Loser was in fact featured on an advert for "Adventures in Babysitting", a 'flick' shown on Cartoon Network
3) Strangers was in fact part of the soundtrack for Saw V