Like Pacific – ‘Control My Sanity’

By Dave Beech

Going in to ‘Control My Sanity’, the third album from Ontario’s Like Pacific, was an odd experience. As someone who grew up through the Myspace and Tumblr years, it was instantly familiar. Familiar in a nostalgic way, of course, but also in such a way that it struggled to really excite me.

At least at first.

Push past the point of the record wearing thin, and ‘Control My Sanity’ reveals itself as a record far more three dimensional than just cursory listens would have one believe. Opener ‘Ketamine Jesus’ is a blistering way to kick off proceedings; a toss between early Title Fight-esque punk rock and You Me at Six style emo, it establishes both the band and indeed the album’s aesthetic perfectly.

It’s an aesthetic that runs through the core of the album, veering between the emotional alt-rock of tracks such as the eponymous ‘Control My Sanity’ or ‘Hollow Tears’. It’s these tracks which feel the most generic, especially when compared to the likes of ‘Fail to Speak’, that bristle with an angsty energy that has more more in common with the likes of bands like Tigers Jaw or the aforementioned Title Fight.

Indeed, it’s these heavier, more angsty tracks that elevate ‘Control My Sanity’, and even then, it takes repeat listens before any sort of nuance begins to reveal itself. Largely, this is down to the band’s innate ability to veer between the confessional and the cathartic, and despite this one reviewer being overly long in the tooth and somewhat cynical, there’s an entire generation of fans that haven’t grown up on the likes of You Me At Six or The Wonder Years. As such, ‘Control My Sanity’ proves itself the perfect gateway record to an entire genre for the uninitiated.

Though there will be certainly naysayers that find far too much familiarity within its ten tracks, there’s a certain sense of catharsis around the record that makes it difficult to ignore. As such, there’s a lot to love within the record, but those who’ve been kicking around a while might want to look elsewhere if they want something to truly excite them.

DAVE BEECH

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