I recently went to a concert where Mississauga band Reality Control were performing, and found myself given a free copy of their EP, Bliss. I, of course, took it. Since I’d just seen what they were capable of, I had high expectations for the record, and the Bliss EP did not fail me, for the most part.
Bliss starts off with ‘Wheelchairs and Parking Lots’, which while not one of the strongest tracks of the album, introduces the listener to Reality Control’s dual-guitar attack, rounded out by Simon Lukasewish’s keys and fast beats underneath singer Dante Matas’s clear voice making claims such as “Marriage is a common-law divorce” and “Faithfulness is overrated”.
This disc gets stronger as it moves on. ‘Hanging Up The Wrong Coat’ contains my favourite lyric of the EP “I’m caught in your headlights as your car slows down/ Skid marks in the shape of a frown”.
Possibly the best track on Bliss is ‘You’re Going Sentimental’. From a deceptively slow start, it becomes a sunny guitar pop song with scathing lyrics about corrupt charities and the chorus line which demands shouting along.
Following this is Helvetica, a charming, melodic song that slows down the tempo of things and lets piano take centre stage in the composition.
‘Televangelist’ is the last listed track. A powerful repeating riff separates verses criticizing televangelism, before moving into an instrumental interlude that’s just as much fun on record as it was live.
And just when you think it’s over, Reality Control throw in a surprise hidden track at the end that brings the album to a mellow close, but this one you’ll have to discover for yourself.
Reality Control show an ability to create melodic, pleasing songs again and again, as well as being able to comfortably balance 2 guitars and a keyboard to build cohesive, richly layered compositions. There is potential here to grow, particularly in the vocals and lyrics, but Reality Control are definitely an act to watch out for and if you get the chance, do not miss out on a show because they’re also pretty damn fantastic live.
Top Tracks: ‘You’re Going Sentimental’; ‘Helvetica’; ‘Televangelist’
Rating: Strong Hoot (good)