Gossip

Standing in the Way of Control (Kill Rock Stars)

SXSW Records

Gossip

Standing in the Way of Control (Kill Rock Stars)

Beth Ditto is punk rock's Aretha Franklin. As the voice of Portland, Ore. threepiece Gossip, Ditto growls and croons through the group's fourth album with her slicked-back Arkansas roots showing. Cleaner and more structured than 2003's lo-fi Movement, Standing in the Way of Control isn't dance punk. It's guttural and soulful, Motown and rock & roll with a dash of the Mississippi Delta. From the confidence of opener "Fire With Fire," driven by new drummer Hannah Blilie and the simple lines of guitarist Brace Paine, to the sass of the titular track, Gossip's attitude is ferocious, which makes the slow burn of "Coal to Diamonds" even more chilling. In the drop of a measure, Ditto dives from vein-popping fervor to slow, manipulative seduction. Closer "Dark Lines" echoes a pin-up dream: sad and teasing. Gossip isn't in that crowd of overrated, polished, hi-hat rock. There's spit and sweat and gut and grime here to go along with the beat. Sure you can dance to it, but when Ditto screams, "I don't want the world! I only want what I deserve!" on Control highlight "Yr Mangled Heart," you can't help but hear "R-E-S-P-E-C-T." (Thursday, March 16, 1am @ Emo's Annex)

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