Control Top, Rocket Dust
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In the bygone era of arena rock, concerts were a way of promoting records. Punk challenged that notion by making rock a communal experience again: the boundaries between performer and punter were blurred; anyone could start a band; and records were no longer the definitive statement of an artist’s vision, but rather a way of promoting visceral and participatory live shows. In their early years, Atlanta trio The Coathangers were very much of the classic punk ethos—the band was a live entity, and the records were merely a document of the charisma and chaos projected from stage. But after 12 years of relentlessly touring on a steady flow of EPs and LPs, The Coathangers finally took a moment to recalibrate before diving into the creation of their sixth studio album The Devil You Know. After a summer break of reflection and reassessment, the band regrouped to make an album that captures all the vitality of their early years while honing their individual strengths into new communal achievements. It’s a record that takes their established takes on vitriolic punk, playful house-party anthems, and heartworn ballads and melds them into a new sound that retains all their former live show glories while revealing a new level of songwriting and nuance.
Covert contracts rule our world: manipulative relationships, encoded social norms, opaque technologies. “With a covert contract, the trick is that the agreement is only known by the person who makes it,” says Ali Carter, singer and bassist of Philly post-punk trio Control Top. “The other person is oblivious. Consent is impossible. A void of communication opens up a world of misunderstanding.”
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