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History Review

by Mark Pytlik

Although it sees Toronto's Controller.Controller entering the already clotted disco-punk market a little bit later than is fashionable, History is nevertheless one of the worthier debuts to emerge from the second wave of no wave revivalists. Led by vocalist Nirmala Basnayake -- who spikes her natural mid-range with just the right amount of Ari Up -- and the requisite front line of juddering guitars, the quintet weave together a six-song set that delivers on anxious atmospherics and strong hooks in equal measure. As on standouts "History" and "Silent Seven," the band demonstrate a knack for blending late- '70s- era call-and-response guitar interplay with the brittle drum sounds of early electronic music; while the end result isn't anything particularly fresh sounding, its infused with enough energy, craft and high drama to make it well-worth recommending.

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