Its fair to say that if you’re getting the new C.O.C. album, it’s not because you’ve heard all the media and hype first. C.O.C. do ‘low key’ better than most and have done since they began some 30 years ago. To that end, you have an idea about what you’re expecting from a new release before you even put it in the player. This new L.P. is split almost right down the middle between two of their past styles. First you have that dirty, down tuned, sludge style of ground out heavy riffs you got from tracks like ‘Man or Ash’ (Wiseblood). It was a style that featured heavily on 2005’s In the Arms of God. This slower, more distorted sound continues throughout the first four tracks, with a small break for and almost Ramones inspired ‘Denmark Vesey’ where you can hear Mike Dean yelling, “Kill, Kill, Kill” like a true rebel! While we’re on the subject of Dean’s voice, it’s still clear that he’s not up to the standard of Pepper Keenan, but he’s definitely improved since their last record with him handling all the vocals himself. Track 5 is entitled ‘Interlude’ in a similar way to ‘Mano de Mono’ (Deliverance) and what follows is so tangibly different, you could be forgiven for thinking the tracks had all been lifted from studio sessions that were ten years apart. This second half of the record is much more like the cleaner, crisper guitar sound you had on Deliverance and in my opinion is the better for it. Compared to the last record, this is a major improvement. I’m not sure if they lost their way or didn’t know where to start with it, but either way, this is better. It’s not going to dazzle the way Deliverance or Wiseblood (or even America’s Volume Dealer) does, but it is a solid 7/10 performance.
IX is available from 23 June through Candlelight Records.
Corrosion of Conformity are:
Woodroe Weatherman (Guitar), Mike Dean (Bass & Vocals), Reed Mullin (Drums & Vocals).