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Impulse Control: when the punk bubble goes pop

Impulse Control: when the punk bubble goes pop

Of all the pop/punk archetypes, I like the predictability second most. Firstly, though, I like the identifiable lyrics to which I can belt out due to the simple, (predictable), and repetitive nature. It’s not like singing a diva’s ballad, either— you don’t find yourself jamming a finger in the ear in hopes of hitting Hoppus’ range of notes while screaming a Blink-182 earworm. Pop-punk is easy to sing along to, it’s a HUGE swathe of bands to pick from, and it’s the perfect avenue down which to safely ‘rebel’ against society.

I don’t mean to go on a diatribe of what makes pop-punk worth a damn, and what subversions exist within the genre. What I mean to do is introduce a pop-punk band which presents these conventions of predictability and lyrical accessibility without selling their souls to the powers that be. Impulse Control is well-hidden within the lesser-known bands of the genre, but there’s no denying they can write a hook, play the fuck out of a chord, and break the second rule I laid out for pop-punk bands world-round: predictability. With songs like “Welcome to The Fold” and “Here I Stand,” listeners like myself easily assume this band is just a solid pop-punk collective. Well, shit…

“Cracks in The Pavement” proved me wrong. I should have known that I was in for a Shyamalan-like twist when I first heard the vocalist’s voice, which just screams to be in a pop-folk band. This song leans far from the genre of pop-punk, with a funky, driving rhythm. I had to listen to this track multiple times to figure out just why it pissed me off. I have come to the following conclusion: it should have been the first song I heard, and it was hidden beneath less epic, although solid, tracks “Welcome to The Fold” and “Here I Stand.” For safety, I listened to the track again… Yea, I’m mad at how good it is compared to the other two. It’s a kind of double-whammy: it makes me look down at the aforementioned tracks, while at the same time appreciate them more all the while.

So now I’m mad, and I get to the track “Somewhere in the Wind”, and I can’t stop thinking about “Cracks in the Pavement,” and even though “Somewhere in the Wind” is dressed up with those sexy chugging chords, heartfelt harmonies, and shiny post-production, I just can’t get nasty with it like I could with “Cracks in the Pavement.” I know, I need to move on; there are plenty of songs in the sea, and the vocals in “Somewhere in the Wind” are totally bangable. I’m sure I’ll sing along to the song on my wedding day, but right now I’m just going to mourn over how great “Cracks…” was… Is. It’s a great song, and the rest of the tracks listed on their ReverbNation page are very good songs, but I obviously have favorites.

Really, though, I find that my “type” has tight percussions. The drums from both “Somewhere…” and “Cracks…” are what get me hyped enough to consider getting down on one knee. That isn’t to discount the bass and guitar of “Cracks…” because both delivered a plucky drive. Don’t get me started on the vocals, though.

So, I really don’t have a single qualm over the lyrics or the vocals. My notes all include things like sultry, moody, soft(?), American Idol, smooth, folky, more pop than punk. If anything, I’m confused by this front-man, but also intrigued, and wish the vocals were pushed the slightest bit more forward.

So… This band has come through for me, pissed me off, and confused me in my time of need over the span of reviewing this work. Like any pop-punk band, they have delivered–even to the point of switching up what it means to be pop-punk. Take the label with a grain of salt, I sure as hell should have.

Listen to them now, okay? Hell, they might even be playing near you:


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