Worth the Wait: Outtacontroller’s Television Zombie LP
It’s always great when a new release allows us to revisit some of the first bands Secret East had the opportunity to feature. It is especially great when it’s the long awaited second LP from Halifax’s Outtacontroller. Despite unforeseen delays that pushed the official release of Television Zombie, the record remains as a highly effective power pop target practice, and it successfully picks off sixteen tracks with absolute precision.
When I call Television Zombie a “long awaited” album, I really mean it. Our dear friend Evan Mumford shared his thoughts on the LP teaser track when he interviewed drummer Chris Murdoch last year. Mumford’s piece was published during our launch week in August 2014, but his pop punk trope analysis of the “Television Zombie” preview is still quite accurate of the album in its entirety. Outtacontroller continue to drum up hook-heavy pop tunes that offer hints of stylistic familiarity, but their efforts are a bang-on delivery that is infused with enough original energy and ample attitude to prevent any sort of sub-genre staleness.
You can knock through all sixteen tracks of Television Zombie without hitting a dud. From “R. Stevie Moore”, the pogo punk album opener that has garnered the interest of its prolific songwriter namesake, to “I Wanna Tell You Something”, a song that could convincingly pass as a lost Ramones tune being filtered through clouds of signature fuzz — every cut holds a memorable ground, yet the tracklist seamlessly bounces from one song to the next.
We briefly engaged bassist Matt Grace to catch up on Outtacontroller’s latest activites, the holdup and release of the Television Zombie LP, as well as receiving fan mail from the most unexpected of places.
When we spoke with your drummer Chris Murdoch last summer, you folks were just putting the finishing touches of the Television Zombie LP. It’s now well over a year later, and the records are finally ready for the shelves.
While it was obviously worth the wait, what was the holdup on the release?
It was a couple of things, we had some label issues, namely our Original Canadian label folded, so that was part of the delay. Honestly though, pressing vinyl is not a quick process so that was the majority of the delay. We wanted to have everything in hand before we released it. Nothing is worse than “here is the record digitally… You can physically buy it eventually”.
Since our chat with Murdoch, what else has changed in the world of Outtacontroller? Any big happenings we should catch up on?
Since you last caught up with Chris we have mostly just been playing shows and preparing for the release of this LP. We were able to get to Ottawa this past summer with our pal Dexter Outhit filling in for Chris (drums) as one of the newest things is that we have a new member of the family so to speak, Chris and his partner Stephanie are proud new parents. .
Recently, the prolific songwriter and “lo-fi legend” R. Stevie Moore surprised you guys by reaching out regarding the albums opening track which is titled in his name. What did he have to say?
He found us through a YouTube video of the track and said he loved it and that he would love a copy of the record and the lyrics themselves.
Can we have the lyrics to “R. Stevie Moore”?
R Stevie Moore at your house
I wanna hear that and nothing else
And you know that I just got paid
But I spent all my money at the arcade
R Stevie Moore
What was your first reaction to the message? I’d assume you are big fans of his work, what did his reaching out mean to Outtacontroller?
It was pretty unreal. He’s super influential to us as a band and you never expect someone like that to reach out and wanna interact with us. I guess that’s one of the benefits of the Internet. We weren’t hard to find.
So, the record is out. Where will folks people able to pick it up?
Any big plans for the future now that the LP is out into the world?
We have our official release party on November 27th at The Esquire Tavern in Moncton, NB with our special guests The Disasterbaters, Phone Jerks and Last Museum. Following that we are taking it on the road with a show in Montreal on December 4th and Ottawa on December 5th.