by GB3


Full Review

Damaged/Controlled has a cinematic sensation that unfolds itself throughout the album. The programming by Prince and the guitars, keyboards and samples from Bennie give the music a sweeping feel. It is thoroughly enhanced by the mythical lyrics of Kilbey (who also sings lead vocals on eight of the ten tracks). The album is book-ended by the gorgeous vocals of Nihill on songs one and ten. Kilbey's opening track "I Don't Wanna Know" comes across like many of the epic openers of The Church. In it he references Captain Cook, The Beatles, The Stones, the elephant man, Explorer Will (Spanish explorer William Hilton perhaps?), and mentions he's a "paid up member of White September".

A collaboration between Steve Kilbey (The Church), Glenn Bennie (The Underground Lovers) and featuring Ricky Rene Maymi (Brian Jonestown Massacre) on guitar. An eclectic album with a moody, surreal sound coming from the psychedelic work normally associated with BJM. Unfortunately there is nothing on this album like the Milky Way "brand" that Kilbey created in the 80s, but still powerful enough to generate a younger generations interest. Some genuinely languid sounds, cultural references to Captain Cook and Aussie-isms like "get cracking". The album has a sombre feel to it, fitting with the title theme of damage. Title track Damaged/Controlled is enjoyably dismal with a fatigued sounding Kilbey and emotive lyrics: "it's all too soon, it's all in ruins... I just wanna turn it off." An interesting sample of the raagini, a droning device used in classic Indian music which gives the album a sinister feel at times. Overall there are some breathtaking melodies and guitar harmonies with that iconic and classic Aussie-male sound that Kilbey is known for.

Third LP from Underground Lovers mainstay sees Steve Kilbey in the spotlight.

The chief sonic soundscapist of cult '90s Melbourne indie-shoegazers Underground Lovers, Glenn Bennie carried on making music as GB3 after their split eight years ago - and still has plenty of old magic in him, as evidenced by UL's 2009 reunion. A full creative collaboration with the ever-prolific Church frontman Steve Kilbey (who Bennie met through mutual friend Grant McLennan), Damaged/Controlled is GB3's third album after 2003's Circlework and 2006's star-studded Emptiness Is Our Business. Thematically concerned with the damage life deals humans and the ways they control it, this is a very grown-up, quietly emotive record. The opening "Nectarine" is an almost androgynous, ethereal dream-pop ballad, but Kilbey immediately marks his presence with his inimitable delivery on the very Church-like "I Don't Wanna Know," proceeding to vocally and lyrically dominate the LP onwards. Outstanding on last year's back-to-back All India Radio and Kilbey/Kennedy albums, The Triffids' Graham Lee reappears here on flowing pedal steel, with fellow players like The Brian Jonestown Massacre's Ricky Maymi, UL's Maurice Argiro and Autohaze's Andy Nunns respectively laying down assorted guitar atmospherics, providing the four-string pulse and hitting the skins. On the droning, motorik-laden "I'm The One," Bennie and Kilbey veer into the territory inhabited by Black Cab - with impressive results. The spectral shoegaze piece "Damaged Controlled" and meditative instrumental "Deranged Controlled" form the album's two-part centrepiece, while the serene "In Innocence" serves as an impeccable finish. If one had any prior doubts, D/C is proof that Bennie and Kilbey couldn't go wrong.