Corrosion Of Conformity – Wiseblood
I was really curious to get into this record, sent to me by Mike, the rare and elusive South Western Ontario Bearded Lebrain. So, let’s get in there and give ‘er, eh?
King Of The Rotten has a really huge bottom end (love a song with a fat ass). It’s raw, muscular and heavy. Great tune. Long Whip/Big America is another huge riff that disappears when he sings, comes back for the chorus… ah well, it was 1996, after all. This is a funky track. I like it! The guitar solo stands out here, too. The title track slinks and crashes and is bluesy as hell. I’m starting to wonder if the whole record will have this sound – I hope so! One thing’s for sure, this band can sure as hell jam.
Goodbye Windows, by title alone, ought to be my theme song (I’m a Mac guy). The song itself is a half-pace (compared to the rest, so far) blues rumbler. I like how it goes down to just the vocals and bass for the verses. Very evocative of a late night in the city, somehow. And, of course, it eventually speeds up. I liked this song a lot, a highlight track for me.
Born Again For The Last Time ramps things back up with a nu-metal swing beat! Ha, fun. And it’s still menacing, so good on ’em. This track’s a real workout. Lovely, indeed. Drowning In A Day Dream is the halfway point in the record, give or take, and it’s another funky bluesy rawking metallic track. I think my theory about the whole record may be panning out, here…
The Snake Has No Head is a real screamer. I’ve been waiting for a song like this one to come up in the mix, and here it is. Slinky and dangerous. Yum. Next up is The Door, which kicks everything up to double-time and rocks us the hell out. This one makes me want to drive really fast. And when the bottom drop out, wow. It drops a long way. Another highlight track.
Man Or Ash sounds like Sabbath to me (until he starts singing, of course), and that’s not a bad thing. That’s a great influence to wear proudly, lads! The fist-pumper chorus is a nice touch. Love the chuginess of this one. Heavy. Great song, yet another highlight track. And the we get Redemption City, keeping the pace slower but losing none of the bluesy metal power on full display here. Man, back to back with Man Or Ash, it’s like a Sabbath homage 2-fer. Heavy as hell.
Wishbone ramps us back up and throttles us. Holy hell, by now I’m a total convert. Usually these records peter out by track 11, all filler shoved to the bottom to make up a record’s-worth of tracks when they really only want to support the single(s) on board. Not this record. It’s been strong from the get-go, and I’d argue that it’s getting better as it goes along. This track stands up well as proof of that.
Fuel is not a Metallica cover, though one could be forgiven (or Unforgiven, perhaps?) for thinking that it was, by its intro. We’re still ripping along at 100 mph and breaking as much shit as we can along the way as we can. Woohoo! Damn, this one’s a workout for the drummer, This is metal rawk at its finest, all the elements firmly in place. This would be an absolute incendiary device in a live setting.
And finally it’s Bottom Feeder (El Que Come Abanjo), which closes out these proceedings with a half-paced chug more akin to Man Or Ash or Redemption City. Sabbathy guitars, thumping drums and slinky bass oh my. Around the 1:55 mark, and for less than a full minute, it becomes this atmospheric jammy section, which works really well. The crunch comes back with a vengeance and crashes the whole thing through jazz drums, freak-outs set to the grunting of pigs, double-time sections that rev it all back up, and a reprise of the intro section, before finally achieving its heavy-as-hell ending. Oh, and did I mention that, except for the pigs, this track was entirely instrumental? So cool.
In sum, as the first and only Corrosion Of Conformity album I have ever owned, this one has made me an immediate fan. Wow. Just wow.
Thanks heaps, Mike!!