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Standing in the Way of Control

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The first thing that strikes you is the rhythm. The Gossip have been making punks dance since they debuted 5 years ago, long before dance punk existed. Soulful and jagged, you can hear everything from Dischord to Motown in Brace's playing. Now, with the addition of new drummer Hannah Blilie (Shoplifting, ex-Chromatics) they have a new thundering beat for the kids to dance to on the corners and in the clubs.

The next thing that smacks you is Beth's voice, all the guttural blues of the South is in that inimitable instrument. It resonates with the confidence that is in her lyrics asking people to hold on just a little bit longer, re-assuring the youth that there are others out there, and spitting in the face of all who say otherwise!

''Standing in the Way of Control'', their third album, was recorded by Guy Picciotto (Fugazi) at Seattle's Bear Creek. From heartbreakers like ''Coal to Diamonds'' to the anthemic title track, released as a single with a Le Tigre remix, the band is unafraid to put it all out there and take their audience to new places. This is the sound of a band destroying and surpassing all expectations placed on them.

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It's flatly unfair that the Gossip aren't a massive success, a rocknroll giant slayer, especially as they unleash another 10-song, 30-minute zinger like Standing in the Way of Control. Singer Beth Ditto's boundless, whether shouting out the title song's chorus or feather-dusting the lyric on Meg White-sounding album closer, "Dark Lines." The band rocks with an unerring simplicity, a leanness that writhes. The big-beat, hop-along (and sing-along) "Listen Up," is the centerpiece here, a stripped focus on the Gossip's core conviction, that rhythm can rock like little else. The tune has Ditto holding court over a bluntly simple one-two beat, cautioning a crowd that by rights ought to be tenfold larger: "now gather round/now listen up," warning them that "some people talk way too much." As Ditto stuns, drummer Hannah Blilie's beat pounds, and Brace Paine's guitar lays down a simple law. Ignorance of that law is no excuse. --Andrew Bartlett
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 24, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Kill Rock Stars
  • ASIN: B000CNFB22
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,824 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Lemos on April 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I heard about this band in the most unlikely of ways. The NPR music guy was talking about some noteworthy young artists/bands in the Pacific Northwest, and when he played The Gossip, my ears instantly perked up. In his description of their sound, he mostly talked about Ditto's pipes, and that's the way it should be. Sure, Brace's guitar work is catchy and Hannah's drumming is adept enough--but let's face it, punk ain't the most demanding genre when it comes to instrumentation. It's all about style, verve, attitude, and Beth's got all that plus a whole lot of soul. Her Arkansas roots come out in her sexy delivery that's equal parts blues and grrl punch. I would've liked to hear a few more upbeat songs on this disc--it gets a bit slow towards the end--but Ditto knocks every other singer in this genre flat on their ass, so I'll give 'er a break if she likes to break into soulful crooning every once in a while.
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Format: Audio CD
Awesome sound out of just drums and a guitar; blows White Stripes away, in my humble opinion. Vocals are full and powerful. I have to keep reminding myself the band has only 3 members (no overdubs). Look forward to hearing more of their stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
I've had this album in my car cd player almost everyday since I bought it. I love half of it and the other half is ok. I think the dance beats work very well, but it makes the cd a bit dated and so does the front cover. I think this would have sounded fresher if it would have been released in the spring of '05 when everyone was still freaking out over Franz Ferdinand, but this band is much more important than that.

I think Beth has the most amazing voice I've heard in years. I listen to her and think of her fitting in with the greatest singers of all time. Her voice warms up like a vintage tube amp and she has such great control over the amount of grit in her voice.

This album still has more balls than anything that's come out in a long time and the tones on the album are second to none. It makes me excited for the next one which will be amazing.
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Format: Audio CD
Hi Guys

I have to say i disagree with the above-mentioned reviews. I haven't felt the same way about a band since i was going through a large White Stripes phase some years ago.

This band are very similar to the Whites Stripes in that they have that stripped down, bedroom sounding production similar to Elephant. They also have the same type of bluesey guitar licks. The vocals are absolutely tremendous, bringing a soul voice to a rock band, although if she went on American Idol they would slate her.

It is of course the songs themselves that cement this record. Every song is a stone cold hit. The chorus of "coal to diamonds" has so much emotion it makes me feel nauseous.

The only downside is that the chorus of "Keeping you Alive" sounds slightly tacked on, even though it makes the main riff of that song sound cooler.

It is also worth noting that this band are hot enough to have tracks remixed by Belgian rock/dance crossover Soulwax and Le Tigre.

If these guys really float your boat it is worth checking out The Invisible Deck the Rogers Sisters.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is the equivalent of what you'd get if you took Janis Joplin & locked her in a recording studio w/ a punk rock guitarist and a dance studio drummer. Excellent. I'll save my 5th star for now because that only goes to albums that withstand the test of time, but definitely a great effort and an enjoyable result.
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Format: Audio CD
This cd by the Gossip is one of those rare ones that you let play all the way through and then start it over again. Very distinct vocals from Beth Ditto and very good music. My personal favorite tracks are the title cut and HOLY WATER.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this album out of curiosity and it has blown my mind. "Your Mangled Heart" is one of the most incredible female rock vocal performances I have ever heard! You MUST check this out.
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By K. House on January 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Beth Ditto has one of the strongest voices today, very reminiscent of Janis Joplin. The album is full of suprises.
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