Album Review
Defying Control - Stories of Hope and Mayhem Album Cover

Defying Control - Stories of Hope and Mayhem

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Defying Control - Stories of Hope and Mayhem
Record Label: Eternalis/Impacted/Eating Shit/High Speed Flower
Release Date: January 19, 2009

Hailing from due South in Portugal (Arrested Development, anyone?), Defying Control examines two cultures through their love of music. Taking the rapid-fire sound of modern punk rock and adding their own personal spin to it, Defying Control wants to pick you up... and well, frankly, never let you down.

How is it?

Faith and punk rock have never been two close cousins. While bands like MxPx and Relient K took their lighthearted senses of humor and blended it with deeply personal serenades on being a good person, the aspect of punk rock mixing with religion usually exposes a band's critique of organized religious practice in general. Defying Control is from Portugal, however, and for all their Americanized efforts, they skip over the middle-finger-to-Christianity bit and instead allow their good faith to guide them in making fast-paced anthems that riff off positivity.

While it's certainly commendable, it does become a bit overbearing as their debut, Stories of Hope and Mayhem, chugs along. The album's title suggests chaos and aggression, something that is only touched upon through bursts of melodic hardcore rhythm (and band nicknames). Another perplexing element is that the lyrics, while well-intentioned, only make a little bit of sense. It's essentially the fact that four Portuguese men are trying to be American rock stars -- some of the message is bound to get lost in translation. For all the raucous moments of self-reflection, Defying Control labels themselves as bonafide punk rockers with a penchant for fury... yet in reality, it's all metaphysical. "Blessed," "Leap of Faith" and "New Beginning" are all hellbent on proclaiming self-doubt is no longer an issue, and that God is the will & the way. "My Country" wants to be an exploratory protest anthem, but stumbles in cliche. More or less, the record is tough to pigeonholed, yet difficult to truly recommend; it wants to be too much all at once, and is bogged down by a barely-there production unit, something that could be of great assistance to future D.C. recording sessions.

The band does their best to present a muscular punk rock sound any fan of Epitaph or Fat Wreck wants to hear... but the focus is difficult to follow, and the lyrics still require an ample amount of suggestion from well-worn professionals (Brett Gurewitz could do a number with these guys). It's confusing as to whether or not the band wants to be like the South American or North American punk scene -- and there is a vast difference in mainstream guidance for both. Once the band understands what they have set their sights on, maintains some lyrical focus and picks an angle, there is a destined path for them to walk upon. After all, for Defying Control, it's only Year One.

Recommended if You Likeolder No Use For a Name; Reset; BeerBong; Bedtime For Charlie
Choice Cuts"Leap of Faith," "To The Bone" and "King or a Fool"

Track Listing1. Stories of Hope and Mayhem
2. Say What You Think
3. Leap of Faith
4. Saviour
5. My Country
6. The World's Down Fall
7. First Melody
8. New Beginning
9. King or a Fool
10. To The Bone
11. Lost Life
12. Image of Reality
13. Blessed
Band Members"Killer": vocals/bass
Andres Lopes de Silva: guitar/vocals
Francis: guitar: vocals
Pedro Simao: drums

Online VitalsOfficial Myspace
PurchaseAmazon MP3
This review is a user submitted review from smoke4thecaper. You can see all of smoke4thecaper's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 4 of 4
04:28 AM on 07/23/09
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PunkToTheBone's Avatar
Hi everybody!

I'm Killer, the vocals from Defying Control. I came out to clear a few misunderstandings in this review.

I'm doing this not for propaganda but because I believe we have the right to defend ourselves from unfounded accusations but first I would like to thank Chris for reviewing our album no matter if it got some misunderstandings and Absolute Punk. It's an honor for D.C. to feature in such great web site.

So first of all we never were and we'll never be a Christian punk rock band and we never said we were. We have nothing against being Christian but that's just not our thing. We knew “Leap Of Faith” could create some controversy but we always believed that people would get the message if they read the lyrics closely. The song is about God but in a different way or at least not in a Christian way. It says that God is the nature and not that human figure with long hair that Christian religion imposes to people. In the song God it's just energy, it's whatever you want to believe in, so despite it was not on purpose it's a little bit anti-Christian even. Chris insists on this subject later on. So here it goes “New Beginning” is about the difficulties a band goes trough to keep their shit together and that we still keep on going no matter how much people try to push us down. I do sing “...so hear me God...” but it’s clearly just an expression to emphasize our will to carry on. “Blessed” just says people should be grateful for having true friends and a family. That's it no more no less. The lyrics are quite simple and I don't understand why Chris makes such a big mess about it. I invite everyone who's interested enough to send me an email asking for the lyrics I would gladly send it to anyone. You could all listen to most of the songs in our myspace. So ask me for the lyrics and check it out for yourself. ( killerctx@hotmail.com) (www.myspace.com/defyingcontrol)

I also don't understand why Chris goes on insulting us. We are not “four Portuguese men trying to be American rock stars” we are four Portuguese dudes having fun doing what we love most. Playing punk rock! We do it for 6 years now and I hope we can do this for ever. Punk rock it's our life since the nineties.
Just for the record this is not our debut album. Our debut album got out in 2007 and it was entitled “Reflection”.

We do not try to claim that we are aggressive. The album is entitled like that because it's our way to tell people that the world is on mayhem but there's still hope to do something about it if we only put our minds into it OK? You know… like ending war, protecting Nature that's what we're all about. I guess I do have a tough guy nickname although I don't see where that’s relevant for an album reviewing. Nevertheless rest assured that I never killed anyone and I'm pretty much a sweet guy.

I didn't get that “South American or North American scene” thing. Our influences go by a lot of Northern American bands you got that right but South American scene? We really don’t know about the scene in South America. We are often included in the European and Canadian skatepunk / melodic hardcore scene but South America it's a new one. So thank you I guess. By the way you know Portugal is in Europe Right?

Just want to end this by saying we as a hard working band feel we deserved a little bit more respect than this. We really feel that we came a long way and that the songs although far to please everyone and far from being perfect still have great melodies, positive message and a lot of great guitar riffs. Anyway Chris got a lot of things right that we'll consider next recording and we thank him once again and Absolute Punk.

Bye everyone!
Keep it true!

05:33 PM on 07/25/09
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punk89's Avatar
If you get an album review, you should be expecting criticism. It seems like poor etiquette to respond defensively. When you put out music, some people will like it, some people just won't. You just have to accept that, Killer.
02:35 PM on 08/02/09
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I think it would be much cooler if you were christian punk rock band, but no offense guys. It's just my opinion.

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