[Review] Birth Control – Open Up

Birth Control are a historic German band, pioneers of Heavy Prog sounds with their unmistakable trademark given by the use of the Hammond. After several lineup changes over the years, they released on June 03, 2022 the new album “Open Up” containing 8 long-running tracks. The opener “Gamma Ray 2.0” is a modern take on the band’s classic track from the album “Hoodoo Man.” The following “The Last Word” begins with rock-hard guitar riffs intertwining organ over a solid rhythm session and a dynamic vocal. The classic sounds of the band are present, proposed with a modern touch alternating melodic passages and energetic and engaging changes. In the central part the guitar offers an interesting solo cue, to then return to the vocals and at the end to conclude with a prolonged instrumental section. “Wrestling Mama” is an intense piece with the organ in evidence and the alternation of melodic passages and Heavy sections with a refrain that remains in the mind. Excellent the malgamation between guitar and Hammond, who offers a very technical solo in the second part of the song, recalling the sounds of the band’s beginnings. A softer intro with acoustic guitar piano and arpeggios opens “Open Sesame” which is the longest track in the abum, exceeding 9 minutes in duration. After a first verse sung with a warm and expressive vocal, it develops returning to the more energetic sounds of the band. Here too the refrain is very engaging and the plots are enriched with tempo changes, offering a sound halfway between Prog and more Classic Rock. Elaborated and with a valuable instrumental section at the end, this piece enhances the compositional and executive technique of the band. A percussive and powerful drumming opens “I Don’t Mind” which develops with a hypnotic and driving bassline. Continuously evolving it shows a more modern facet of the band’s sound, with a virtuoso guitar solo in the second part and more ’80s overtones. A softer intro with percussion and guitar starts “Wannabe” which alternates more delicate passages with more energetic openings with a more elaborate and Progressive sound. With continuous changes of tempo and intensity, in the second part the keyboards are at the center of the scene duet with the guitar in an elaborate instrumental section. “Plans Get Lost” unisdce Heavy and Funky traits with technique and quality, enriching with tempo changes and a melodic and engaging vocal. In the second part, as in the rest of the songs, the band is free to develop the theme with intertwining soloists of excellent quality. The album ends with the powerful “These Are the Days” which incorporates the sounds of the beginnings with granite guitar riffs that are intertwined with the organ. The band’s classic Heavy Prog sound is revisited with a modern twist, creating a track that concludes the album in a very pleasant way. A band that manages to bring to the present day the sounds that characterized its success in the early 70s. Massive guitar riffs that intertwine the organ, a solid and elaborate rhythmic session and a dynamic and at times melodic vocal that is very engaging and expressive. A listening recommended for lovers of the band’s sounds, with long tracks that evolve with intense instrumental sections and technical solos.


01. Gamma Ray 2.0 (4:30)
02. The Last Word (8:10)
03. Wrestling Mama (4:48)
04. Open Sesame (9:43)
05. I Don’t Mind (6:34)
06. Wannabe (7:15)
07. Plans Get Lost (7:01)
08. These Are the Days (5:09)


Peter Foller / Bass, Vocals
Martin Ettrich / Guitar, Talk Box
Sascha Kuhn / Keyboards
Hannes Vesper / Bass, Organ
Manfred von Bohr / Drums

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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