William Control - Noir
Record Label: Victory Records
Release Date: 8th June, 2010
Alter egos are often a way of escaping from the glaring centre stage in an effort to give oneself a more self-fashioned backseat as the elated, often more crazy man behind the curtain. It has provided lead singers with an escapist option to wreck havoc upon the musical norms of that singer’s ordinarily produced sounds and Wil Francis makes no exception here as the even closer to death William Control makes a violent return. If William Control’s first album Hate Culture was the Wizard of Oz, then Noir provides the inevitable Return to Oz; minus the evil spider monkeys on wheels.
Noir continues Francis’ development of his chaotic alter ego while further delving into the darkwave and synthpop genres, and he also freshly visits some stripped down acoustic normalities in certain areas. On “Une Annonce” it is revealed via spoken word that he has not reached his untimely death just yet, before the explosion of synth-tastic blood stained lyrics pulls William’s body up again for round two of the fight for life on “Vorspiel”, or “Une Annonce Pt.2” as it should have been called. On first single “I’m Only Human Sometimes” it is easily seen why a sophomore effort was permitted with the synth and catchy verses making a detour to a more upbeat sound than on the first record. The lyrics “Yeah I want my life to begin/All I have to do is let the right one in/I'm only human sometimes/I am the king of disorder/I'm only human sometimes/The sins of the father/The sins of the flesh tonight”. These lyrics are as usual with William Control ridiculous, but who cares when it sounds this good?
This next sentence may shock you all (It sure shocked me when writing it). An Elvis Presley cover made its way onto this record, and not just any old substandard Elvis cover but instead an actual better than decent darkly acoustic version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. The king is alive. Or slowly dying. On “Why Dance With The Devil, When You Have Me?” things however take a turn for the worse with the failed song featuring rapper Kurupt and Lisa Graves (who and who?). The song falls flat with the synth overpowering the chorus and the rapping replacing what would have been an excellent silence had I chose to have not just pressed play. The song is filled with a multitude of drug references and is reminiscent of most of the failed songs on Marilyn Manson’s terrible early experimental album Smells Like Children.
The second half of Noir is filled with mostly the same song types. It has a lot of enjoyable tracks laced with similar hints of dark energies, anti-life sentiments and the voice that Aiden fans have heard every vocal pitch of by now. The only difference from an Aiden album is the genre, with the freshly written dark lyrics not a stone’s throw from Francis’ normal lyrical offerings. The guitar work on the acoustic tracks is consistent, see “Soliloquy” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love”, and “Noir” gives some tickling to the black and white ivory for some more digression on this second William Control album. It seems that during his bombastic downfall throughout Hate Culture, William Control has managed to transform from a grotesque hate figure to a rain soaked anti-hero. Perhaps Wil Francis is hoping for the same.