Ever heard a record and it immediately makes you so excited you just want to run around and tell everyone about it? Course you have! For me, that record is THE DEBUT by Manchester’s finest Punk band- Bruise Control.
Bruise Control blew my mind when I saw them support Amyl & The Sniffers at the Albert Hall. That gig was something else. The crowd went nuts and it felt like a joint headline show to be honest. Let’s bring it up to present day, and talk about why Useless For Something may just be the best Punk record of the year and to be honest, it dicks all over a lot of records and it is such a joy to listen to.
As someone who feels uncomfortable listening to music that is tame/quiet, Bruise Control speak to me on a level I feel I’ve been in search for for what seems like an eternity. I feel like I’ve heard Black Flag and The Birthday Party for the first time when listening to this record. The rage, the passion and the energy this record has it huge. You can’t just play this once and go about your day at all. You have to just keep on listening and by the second listen you’ve nailed down the lyrics and you’re screaming them right back.
What I adore about Bruise Control is that they make their songs so easy to relate to- songs like Taxman are just *chef’s kiss!* perfectly summing up how us working class are constantly being dicked over by scummy Tories and the like. They have such a big sound, and this being their debut is remarkable. It’s a record you’d expect from a band decades into it- they’ve perfected their sound. It was obvious from the jump that Bruise Control were going to be special and Useless For Something goes above and beyond what anyone could ever have expected.
Dead On Arrival may be my favourite at the moment, but the more I listen to this record (yes, it is daily) the more I find different parts to fall in love with and become obsessed with. There’s this really tight sound on the record, and Dead On Arrival smacks you with hints of Fugazi and Jerry’s Kids. Absolute monster of a record and I don’t say that lightly.
The record was produced by Niall (guitarist) and that truly keeps in with that effortless DIY Punk sound that Bruise Control have- every song is a beautiful smack in the kisser. HMRC is a prime example of that, as is Useless and Bottom Feeder. Every song is an anthem and by that I mean- every song is so important and NEEDS to be played as loud as you and your neighbours can stand. If you are looking for something to blow your mind, burst your eardrums- then this is the record you desperately need. You know it is going to be a riot of a record right from the start. Useless is the perfect way for the record to open- Jim’s vocals on this are so snarly and raw. A beautiful and brutal way to start the record. I was listening to it whilst on the tram to work this morning at 7am- it bloody woke me up!
Manchester will always be one of the best cities in the world for music- Bruise Control utterly back this up. Their energy, their message and their talent has an immediate grip on you- a bear hug, a chokehold. Whatever you want to call it. That grip they have is so rare and so enthralling. I just absolutely love them and this record. This band are the future. Our future. The world is theirs and all that’s left to do, is to play the record loud. Then louder. And maybe touch louder just to make sure.