The Controllers

The Controllers

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Though the Controllers were a second-division L.A. punk band ('77-'79) like the Zeros, Plugz, Eyes, Skulls, and Rhino 39, they were still totally great, and totally better than 99 percent of what's come since in the genre. Theirs was a low-down, dirty, trash rock type of post-Thunders punk that sometimes coalesced into era classics. Since this CD smartly collects all eight tracks they barely managed to release (five on their two 7" singles, three on the seminal Tooth and Nail comp), you get their three remarkable tracks: the cool, super groove 4/4 of "Killer Queers," the sardonic, anti-televangelist heavy riff slammer "Electric Church" and, most of all, their totally awesome cover of that old crooner saw "Jezebel." And the rest are the sort of good fun you'd get at a drunken pillow fight where no one cares about all the beer that's getting spilled and the stains and rips on everyone's clothes. Bacchus tacks on one track from the trio's brief 96-'97 reunion (oh, to have seen it! they sound marvelous here!), two from the 1992 Skull Control incarnation (Spike and Maddog, but no Stingray), and one from Stingray's short-lived, excellent post-Controllers band, Kaos. These six extra selections all emanate from the old days, so this is a succinct and appropriate way for us to piece together what we missed decades ago. The banging, lost killers "Hot Stumps" and "Beat on the Brat" nod "White Trash Christ" in particular show that there was much more here than the tiny trickle they managed to get out in their glory days.

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