The Audition - Controversy Loves Company
Record Label: Victory Records
Release Date: September 20, 2005
Bold is a word that's rarely, if ever, used to describe a pop-punk band. By and large, it’s a genre that plays by the rules, definitely the last place to search when looking for a band that tries to shake things up a bit. Yet "bold" is a completely appropriate word to use when describing Controversy Loves Company, the debut record from Chicago pop-punks, The Audition.
It would be difficult to not notice what makes Controversy Loves Company so refreshing upon the first listen. That in mind, the first song, “Dance Halls Turn to Ghost Towns,” doesn’t necessarily reinforce that point. It is a fairly mediocre song with some questionable lyrics (“Would you please put on your dance shoes? ‘Cause I’m sick of dancing alone.”) Promptly following “Dance Halls” is “You’ve Made Us Conscious” which is easily the stand-out track off Controversy. This a high energy and very catchy song that attacks scene politics. Everything about this song in particular, is exactly what makes Controversy Loves Company so great. While there is no doubt that this record is catchy, it isn’t sugary in any way whatsoever. It’s also a record with well thought out and well-written lyrics. Controversy does not bombard its listeners with 10 songs of heartache and the obligatory “I’m so in love with you” song. It condenses those themes in to just a few songs leaving the rest of the record for the band to experiment with lyric topics.
The rest of Controversy follows the formula the band has established earlier on the record. In addition to “You’ve Made Us Conscious,” “Approach the Bench” and “Lawyers” are other noteworthy tracks with great lyrics. The latter explores the business vs. art debate within music. Something that becomes noticeably clear as the record progresses is the talent of vocalist Danny Stevens. Tracks like “Approach the Bench” and “Rep Your Clique” showcase Stevens’ wide range and powerful voice.
The lyrics are without a question one of the strongest features on ControversyLoves Company. Unfortunately, there are some bumps in the road. Much like the opener, “Don’t Be So Hard” is another track that has a few questionable lyrics. This is virtually the only track on Controversy that follows the topic of heartbreak/love. That said, it is still a highly enjoyable song with a memorable chorus.
Most times it’s not even necessary to reinvent the wheel. Instead, the focus should be on making the wheel stand out, something that Controversy Loves Company successfully does. It’s rare to see records in the pop punk genre complete this task, let alone on a debut record from a fairly young band. While this record may never go down as a classic, it certainly has the credentials to be classified as such.
I've heard Champion which was their first album in 3 years and they have a new upcoming one. I heard the acoustic of Don't be so hard and seen the video for You've made us. I wanted to listen to this album but no one torrents it anymore. I guarantee I would love it. But I have to find it first.
I really only like "Don't Be So Hard" this album just bores me every time I try and listen to it. But Champion was what really sold me on this band. A very solid album. The Self-titled album (I've heard half of it) sounds like it beats both of them.