Sunday, May 17, 2015

William Control at the Studio at Webster Hall

William Francis was born in Seattle, Washington, where in his younger drugs-and-alcohol-fueled years he led police on a high speed car chase and subsequently spent time in jail. He started playing guitar as therapy and in 2003 began singing for post-hardcore band Aiden. With Aiden on hiatus in 2008, William Control became his alter ego, an electro/new wave artist whose debut album told the story of a man's last night on Earth because he wished to kill himself. Control's fourth and most recent studio album, The Neuromancer, was released on April 4, 2014. Since late 2014, Control has performed with a band, the Neuromantic Boys.

At the Studio at Webster Hall tonight on his The Punishment Tour, Control projected an ominous aura somewhere between The Twilight Saga and Fifty Shades of Grey. Control was a dashing figure on stage, nattily dressed in button-down shirt, tie and matching vest and trousers, but with striking jet black slicked-back hair, pale features and dark guyliner. Crooning to pre-programmed synthesized tracks and augmented by a live bassist and drummer, the songs were gothic, deep-grooved industrial darkwave compositions whose lyrics often focused on fantasy, submission, evil, death and suicide. In the end, it was dance music, thick with bombastic beats and layered synthesizer melodies, topped with Control's speakeasy-styled vocals. But if a fan needed the sexual fetish theme, one could stop by the merchandise table and purchase underwear imprinted with Control’s logo and the words "Dominate", "Submit" or "Yes Sir."

Visit William Control at