Jade Tree – 2002 – 40 minutes

Those who hang on every aching sigh and chord of the American underground will find a brand new soulmate in Pedro the Lion. Through a series of acclaimed releases Stateside, frontman (and often sole member) David Bazan has managed to bring his Christian faith to prescient lyrics and downbeat arrangements. But rather than limit his appeal, Bazan's outspoken beliefs have won him an even greater audience and 'Control' sounds as if the fans will grown in tandem with him.

It's as far away from an 'up' record as you can get, but you always feel that Bazan is salvaging building blocks of meaning as he watches the worlds in his songs crumble. And he rocks too, the languid charms of 'Options' and 'Progress' are answered with the guitars on the likes of 'Penetration' and 'Rehearsal' to create an album which trades instant hooks with profound insight.

In a time when people seem to take less and less chances with what they listen to, 'Control' will have you seeking out Bazan's previous journeys and wondering just where he's planning to go next. A record guaranteed to mean more to you by the day.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Options - Rapture - Penetration - Indian Summer - Progress - Magazine - Rehearsal - Second Best - Priests / Paramedics - Rejoice Lauryn Hill