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May 27, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Cortina – Control Freaks Rule The World

Reggae croons and slick bass lines are out, synths and high-pitched vocals are in. Wellington has plunged into the 80s. Grab that keyboard tie, and smoke some meth because cocaine is just too damn expensive. It’s party time but with the addition of what the 80s lacked: a social conscience. Yay!

Cortina are a three-headed beast with wildly diverging tastes and approaches to their music. Opener ‘I Am Not an American’ has hints of L7 in Rebekah’s indignant vocals, and what immediately appears to be another tired stab at America on further reflection seems to be more about our confused national identity. As New Zealanders bombarded by overseas influence sometimes you have to be reminded: you are not Americans, you are not ‘your TV screens’. ‘Entity’ impresses with a guitar break from guitarist Ace Hurt halfway that manages to combine some hefty rhythm riffing with a bent out of shape Slayer section from Raining Blood which then segues into a new-wave pop melody. ‘Hotrod Hell’ careens between a lurching dirge and the full throttle guitar industrial of

something from Ministry’s Psalm 69. Fittingly, there is a song called ‘Industrial’, which samples Norman Kirk and pretty much defies description. ‘Protection’ and the title cut put the bejewelled political boot in, taking aim at G .W. Bush and name-checking Jenny Shipley in the same breath as the Illuminati .Two of the final songs, ‘Heart Beating’ and ‘Slopes of Love’ touch J&MC territory, but there’s also a bit of Blondie invoked throughout. But for whatever other acts this winks at,

it’s a unique creature all of its own.

New-wave humping hair-metal in the middle of an art gallery. Cortina offer songs with riotous guitaring, thumping drum machine beats and vocals that run the gamut from death metal growls to crooning female gasps. Enough fuel for a million sexy parties.


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