We review the new single from Control Shift – Awake

This Californian band pulls no punches when it comes down to kicking up classic rock sounds. Each member of Control Shift have a solid background in music with guitarist and songwriter Ali Rizvi being the founder of this project to MT Letsinger, a veteran of the music industry with buckets of experience.

With a past release single named ‘Welcome’ (2021), the song is a very good precedent of what to expect in terms of sound and attitude. ‘Welcome’ introduced the band as rocky and intense, two adjectives which can absolutely be carried over into the latest single release ‘Awake’.

‘Awake’ expresses fury in ways which the greats have. From ‘Deftones’ to ‘Tool’, chugging electric guitars stretch across the headphones and collide with strong vocals, creating a musical void only reserved for those with enough heart and heavy metal tolerance to venture into.

The songs intro asks ‘What If’ numerous times, pleading with the audience to respond with raised fists and moshing. Alongside the vocalists demands, the intro refuses to be tame in sitting back for a build up. Rather, it plunges forwards into the main riff, a concept which is audacious and sets the listener in for a glorious 3 minutes and fifty eight seconds.

‘So send me a sign and I’ll stay awake’. Good chorus fellas! While some bands who seek to operate in the hard rock genre often come across as bombastic and overly pretentious, Control Shift provide riffs because they are necessary. They aren’t stocking fillers for the basic template of what hard rock should be, rather, its appreciating the art which many of their elder hard rock counterparts have mastered.

The bridge at two minutes thirty eight seconds swirls with incomprehensible, almost guttural noises, setting an uneasy mood but a great build up for the shouts of ‘Awake!’ that follow. Control Shift develop their sound throughout the song and keep the energy that can soon become tiring if not done correctly.

Modern hard rock nowadays can, unfortunately, be associated with the constant threat of stereotypes and copying. So many hard rock bands from Led Zeppelin to Black Sabbath have paved the way and set almost impossibly high benchmarks for what constitutes hard rock. Its safe to say that Control Shift are still fighting to keep the torch burning. They refuse to fall into the cover band role and instead are creating driven new content for (hopefully!) a new generation.

Rock on, Control Shift!