In 1978, the avant-rock no wave scene was making a clatter that mattered in downtown Manhattan, thanks to bands like Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, DNA, Theoretical Girls, and Mars. But a few hundred miles away, in Boston, an equally brave and edgy—if lesser known—klatch of creative noisemakers was burrowing into the consciousness of adventurous music fans. Among their leaders was Controlled Bleeding, a trio who burned bright by blending improvisation with grinding industrial noise.
More than 30 albums—including early cassette-only releases—later, founding member Paul Lemos soldiers on with a new guitar-centric Controlled Bleeding album, Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps, which mixes serenity and insanity. For a taste of the latter, check out Lemos’ home-studio rip through “The Perks of Being a Perv,” a frantic example of the kind of abuse he routinely administers to his Heritage LP-style guitar.
Lemos and Controlled Bleeding have gone through all sorts of sonic shifts over nearly four decades, embracing ambience, dance music, grindcore, dub, prog, and other styles, but as our second premiere—“Driving Through Darkness” from Larva Lumps—displays, Lemos has found his creative groove as an intense, disciplined guitar stylist with tight control over dynamics and an original voice on the instrument. The release of Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps coincides with Artoffact Records’ reissue of several vintage Controlled Bleeding titles including 1983’s Knees and Bones, which was a pioneering set of American electronic/industrial music. Lemos is currently rehearsing a new version of the band with an eye toward returning to the stage after a five-year absence.