Appearing in various forms in the Philly DIY music scene since 2015, the post-punk trio Control Top is a tribute to persistence and evolving through doing. Amid periods of dormancy, stylistic forays and lineup changes, singer/bassist and founding member Ali Carter was determined to keep the project going after the release of the band’s demo tape. In 2017, she recruited drummer Alex Lichtenauer (HIRS, Get Better Records) and guitarist Al Creedon (Bleeding Rainbow, I IM EYE MY). Lichtenauer was searching for a new project to get involved in, while Creedon was rediscovering electric guitar after years of playing noise and electronic music. Together, they forged a clear identity, blending diverse tastes to create music for a time beyond despair and naïveté. Covert Contracts–their debut full-length recorded, produced and mixed by Creedon–will be out in 2019.
That’s the thing with post-punk. There’s so much a band can do under its umbrella. The Slits and Devo, Glenn Branca and Siouxsie and the Banshees–these artists are all wildly different yet found a home in a genre that resists definition. Control Top gets inspiration from these wide-ranging pioneers yet remains true to the post-punk ethos of anti-imitation and the drive to create a new remedy to modern ills. The urge to resist conformity is stronger than ever, and the need for urgent, relevant music is just as strong.
“Control Top play fast and hard, and there’s wildness in Carter’s voice, so it’s almost like they’re a runaway train of a band. But there’s no chaos in the way they play. Instead, their sound is tight and crispy and impeccably constructed. It’s tension and release all at once.” – Stereogum