SINGLE REVIEW: VENT – ‘Controller’


If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while you’ll know that I love a great pop song, and VENT’s ‘Controller’ is one hell of a great pop song.

I could best describe the sound as a beautiful unholy mix of pop from the last 5 decades of that thing we call pop. There is that edgy odd sound of Sparks, the sounds of late 70s’ post-punk electronica, the electro pop of the 80s’ – like Ultravox and Thomas Dolby, weirdly the odd hint of early Spandau Ballet, the echo of 80s’ big pop – if you, like me spent at least a portion of your youth in the 80s I refer you to the meaty sounds of King and the smoother sound of Heaven 17, a seasoning of Rave and moving up to the electro-pop of now. And this is by no means comprehensive. The band refer to it being Nu-Pop’ a genre I have to admit I haven’t quite caught up to.

So for me it’s just a huge pop track that just insists you dance in a suitably jerky way to its edgy beat. Something that sounds new and fresh. The meaty beats, the vast synths that soar, the oddness of the subtle sounds that run through the track, and the powerful vocals that at times form a staccato beat and at others are huge.

And hey, the words are about something, so this is a track not just to listen to – because musically this is outstanding, not just to dance to but to listen to properly to hear the words. The band explain “:Controller’ is about growing up with a complex father son relationship and feeling like a lot of the issues and battles that existed in that dynamic are reflected in the male leaders of our society and the population. It’s a reflection on the loss of some parts of childhood (and the loneliness of that) but also a look forward, to appreciate the effect it’s had”.

VENT have made something wonderful here, something new, something fearless, I have fallen completely under its spell, this is addictive. This is a must listen.

The info

VENT is the collaboration of musicians Thom Buckley (Team Picture) and Chris Mulligan (WH Lung). Through pop gilded sensibilities they’ve curated a project based on danceability and sincerity. At a time where in some circles it’s still cool to be cruel, they’ve elected to speak from the heart and reach for connection instead.

Speaking on the release, the artists say: “This second single feels central to the project as a whole. The themes and ideas we’re looking to investigate in the entire record are brought forward with more urgency and empowerment on this one. Musically we’re trying to tap into the nu-pop sensibilities of someone like Marie Davidson in a more direct way, bringing in some maximal guitar sounds and percussive elements that help shape the rest of the record.”

Autumn will see VENT release their debut project, a collection of songs that look back at a combination of childhood, teen and young adult experiences. Its main focus is to unify and empathise, taking the approach that to care is not uncool, to be sincere is important and to be earnest about things is not some cheesy, embarrassing or cringe thing to do.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.