ALBUM: William Control – The Neuromancer

Release Date: April 4th, 2014
Label: Control Records


Nothing quite makes a mediocre album like one which is heavy handed and over dramatised to the point where it becomes embarrassing. Funnily enough, that’s exactly what producer William Francis and his band William Control have done with his latest record, ‘The Neuromancer’. The American electronic based musician has created one hell of a listen, but for all of the wrong reasons.

Straight from the opening words to the intro track, which is ever so creatively called ‘Intro’, we’re subject to Francis‘ ridiculous and over dramatised lyricism. By trying far too hard to make a profound statement of his complicated situation and his belief that he’s going to die on this particular night, Francis demonstrates his quite simply poor lyric abilities.

But, this isn’t the only demonstration of poor lyricism on this record. Take a look at the sub-standard example stated on the track ‘God Is Dead’; “Hate me, hate me / Hell won’t even take me”. The album’s final track, ‘Where The Angels Burn’, also has its fair share of somewhat insincere wordmanship: “I feel like a fool / Like a mad man fighting cancer”. It would be interesting to know exactly what message Francis was trying to get across here.

Though Francis proposes himself as an electronic musician, the use of synthesisers and electronic drum beats on this record are frankly uninteresting and lack engagement. The music on display here lacks excitement, and it’s almost as though we have heard this all before from the vast array of music that the electronic genre offers.

Perhaps William Control does have more to offer than what has been made evident on ‘The Neuromancer’. What is clear is that this record is written for more than just a leisurely listen. The synthesisers taking an attempt at a bigger sound is evident. However, as a recorded experience, this record just fails to be taken seriously. Francis‘ vocals sound monotonous and the lyrics, as already mentioned on a few occassions, just don’t help his cause.

William Control appears to have an expectation to be taken seriously with this record by following a narrative that Francis introduces. However, the band and Francis just fail to offer anything worth any real merit. With overdone lyrics that will raise a few eyebrows and simply uninteresting song writing and instrumentaion, ‘The Neuromancer’ doesn’t just miss the mark, it doesn’t even have the mark in its sights. Though appeasing to an already dedicated following isn’t an issue here, William Control may have a hard time appealing to those who have doubts.

Written by Calv Robinson