It’s unfortunate that you can’t bottle singer Nirmala Basnayake’s energy, but Toronto’s Controller.Controller’s first full-length is filled with all the icy riffs and murderous intent that make the dance-punk band’s shows memorable. Comparisons to Debbie Harry or Siouxsie Sioux are unavoidable, but here’s betting that Patti Smith has hit Basnayake’s turntable a few times. Controller.Controller is a refreshing change from other post-punks who believe their presence on the planet is enough to keep us entertained (or forget who they’re ripping off). Basnayake’s signature singing-yelps are matched by her bandmates’ lively performances. Jeff Scheven’s percussion never wavers; Ronnie Morris’s basslines shoot out in the dark like an unexpected high-kick to the head.
—Sue Carter Flinn