You know that feeling when a band just absolutely locks the fuck in? That feeling that makes you grit your teeth, bang your head, get that glazed-over damn this is great look in your eyes? Control Top pull that out of you 11 out of 11 times on their debut album. There’s not a wasted second on Covert Contracts, which kicks off like a firecracker and doesn’t let up once during its 30-minute runtime.
The Philadelphia trio is fronted by the ferocious Ali Carter, and she effortfully entangles with Al Creedon’s guitar blasts and Alex Lichtenauer’s booming drums so that they all play circles around each other, bouncing and ricocheting around with a righteous fury. There’s moments of pent-up aggression and razor-sharp hooks and shout-along chants, all guided along by steady and unrelenting hands.
The album acts as a dismantling of the silent, shadowy orders that shape our world. “With a covert contract, the trick is that the agreement is only known by the person who makes it,” Carter said in a press release. “The other person is oblivious. Consent is impossible. A void of communication opens up a world of misunderstanding.” There’s no misunderstanding what Carter is throwing down here, though: Her screams crystallize around hooks about feeling thrown away, boxed in, left out. The album is a giant, undeniable pushback against the status quo in the form of tear-down-the-house punk songs.
Covert Contracts is out now via Get Better Records. Get it here.