Desertfest London 2016: Corrosion of Conformity Added as Headliner

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 5th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

desertfest london 2016 banner

Desertfest London 2016 continues to break out big guns in its lineup for the end of next April. The latest? Oh, just the reunited Deliverance-era lineup of Corrosion of Conformity. That’s all. Oh, and they’ll co-headline the Friday night with Crowbar. No big deal. Oh wait, it’s a friggin’ huge deal. By that time, C.O.C. will likely be working toward their previously announced next full-length — which will be their first in 16 years with all four of its current players — and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that ahead of the Fall 2016 release on Nuclear Blast, they’ll have a new song or two in the set.

These are wild days, my friends. The PR wire sent over the following announcement:

desertfest london 2016 poster

DESERTFEST LONDON 2016: Corrosion Of Conformity to headline the Friday!

It is with great excitement that we’re revealing the second headliner to walk the DESERTFEST LONDON stage next April 29th in Camden, with America’s coolest volume dealers CORROSION OF CONFORMITY and no one but their historical frontman Pepper Keenan at the helm! Icing on this greasy cake: their sludgy brothers in arms CROWBAR will co-headline the night, for a “southern special” Friday at Desertfest!

UK’s forerunner stoner/doom/psyche gathering DESERTFEST couldn’t reach the milestone of their 5th edition without having cult acts on the bill. And who could open this special weekend better than one of America’s most inspiring and outstanding bands of musicians in heavy music, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, reuniting with their iconic guitarist and frontman Pepper Keenan (also well-known for founding leading southern metal unit Down). With the recent news of COC’s signing on Nuclear Blast Records and recording of a new album due out in the fall of 2016, there is no doubt that this fifth Desertfest London will go down in history!

As previously announced and to make it even more special, NOLA’s sludge metal heroes CROWBAR will co-headline the Friday along with COC, bringing their influential slow-and-low sound to the masses. Once again this is a first, as Kirk Windstein and his crew of titans have never played any Desertfest before. A night dedicated to US sludge and rock heavyweights!

April 29th to May 1st in Camden, London (UK)
Weekend tickets available AT THIS LOCATION

Current lineup is as follows:

Corrosion of Conformity, Live in Glasgow, March 2015

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Corrosion of Conformity Sign to Nuclear Blast; New Album Due in 2016

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 15th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

corrosion of conformity with crowd behind

Call me crazy, but I tend to think or at least hope that no matter which Corrosion of Conformity lineup a fan prefers, we can at least all be glad the band are continuing to make good more than 30 years after their inception. As announced from the stage the other night on their current tour with Clutch and The Shrine, the Pepper Keenan-fronted four-piece version of the band has signed to Nuclear Blast and will release a new album next year through the label. It will be the first time that all four players in this lineup — Keenan, bassist/vocalist Mike Dean, guitarist/vocalist Woody Weatherman and drummer/vocalist Reed Mullin — have all played on the same album since 2000’s America’s Volume Dealer. No minor happening, in other words.

The band just yesterday unveiled a previously-unreleased Lynyrd Skynyrd cover of “On the Hunt,” that you can stream below. They’re also on tour into Dec., still out with Clutch, dates with Mastodon, and then on a headlining run with Brant Bjork, Saviours and Mothership.

And, of course, the PR wire makes it official:

corrosion of conformity nuclear blast logo

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY sign to Nuclear Blast Entertainment!

Nuclear Blast Entertainment is pleased to announce the worldwide signing of metal legends CORROSION OF CONFORMITY.

The band will enter the studio late this winter/early spring with longtime producer John Custer. Custer has recorded such prior C.O.C. classics as Deliverance, Wiseblood, America’s Volume Dealer and In The Arms Of God. The as-of-yet-untitled-album will mark the band’s studio reunion with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan and their first full-length record since 2005.

Says Keenan about the new partnership:
“To all the C.O.C. fans worldwide, Mike, Reed, Woody and I are proud to announce that we are starting our next sonic adventure with Nuclear Blast Entertainment! We are honored and psyched to be a part of the Blasted Family, both professionally and artistically. After all these years, its truly inspiring to reawaken the chemistry that the four of us have. We are seriously fucking with our pants off now! We do not take this journey lightly and cannot wait to return to the studio to drop Ze’ Hammer! All of this would not be possible without the global support of all you free thinkers and beer drinkers. Much love and respect and look forward to to seeing you soon.”

President of Nuclear Blast Entertainment, Monte Conner adds:
“I love all the incarnations of C.O.C. over the years but the Pepper-fronted version has always been the definitive line-up of the band for me. Ever since hearing Pepper take charge on 1991’s ‘Vote With A Bullet’ I was dying to hear him sing more with the band. This line-up’s 1994 debut Deliverance, with its signature tracks ‘Clean My Wounds” and ‘Albatross,’ was an instant classic and is still one of my all-time favorite albums.

“It has been a long 10 years since their fourth album – the highly underrated In The Arms Of God – and as a fan, I am dying to hear what these guys come up with next. I know it will be a monster. The fact that it is coming out on Nuclear Blast is very fulfilling for me and many others on the Nuclear Blast team as we finally get to work with one of our favorite bands.”

A fall 2016 release is expected. In the meantime, catch CORROSION OF CONFORMITY on tour this fall on the following dates:

Thu/Oct-15 Grand Rapids, MI @ Orbit Room
Fri/Oct-16 Sauget, IL @ Pop’s Nightclub
Sat/Oct-17 Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
Sun/Oct-18 Fargo, ND @ Scheels Arena
Tue/Oct-20 Billings, MT @ Shrine Auditorium
Thu/Oct-22 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Fri/Oct-23 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Sun/Oct-25 COC Headline show Las Vegas @ Vinyl Hard Rock

Mon/Oct-26 Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
Wed/Oct-28 Austin, TX @ Austin Music Hall
Thu/Oct-29 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
Fri/Oct-30 Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center

Sat/Oct-31 New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre
Sun/Nov-01 Birmingham @Iron City

Thu/Nov-12 Atlanta, GA @ The Loft **
Fri/Nov-13 Shreveport, LA @ Riverside Warehouse ##
Mon/Nov-16 Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock
Tue/Nov-17 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Wed/Nov-18 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Fri/Nov-20 Vancouver, BC @ Venue Nightclub
Sat/Nov-21 Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
Mon/Nov-23 Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
Tue/Nov-24 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
Wed/Nov-25 Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
Fri/Nov-27 Racine, WI @ Rte 20
Sat/Nov-28 Cleveland, OH @ The Odeon
Sun/Nov-29 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Tue/Dec-01 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
Wed/Dec-02 Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
Thu/Dec-03 Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
Fri/Dec-04 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
Sat/Dec-05 Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
Mon/Dec-07 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Tue/Dec-08 Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
Wed/Dec-09 Virginia Beach, VA @ Shaka’s Live
Thu/Dec-10 Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre
** YOB, Brant Bjork, Black Cobra
## Brant Bjork, local support

C.O.C. emerged from hibernation as a trio and released 2012’s self-titled album and 2014’s IX to wide acclaim, but many hardcore fans have been eagerly and patiently awaiting the return of Pepper Keenan.

The band were originally an influential hardcore punk/heavy metal crossover act before reaching critical success with a then new lineup on 1991’s Blind album. That trajectory continued with wider appeal as Keenan took over as the group’s primary vocalist on Deliverance (1994) and Wiseblood (1996).

These two recordings in particular fused the raw energy of their previous albums, with some great strides forward in classic rock inspired songwriting and more spacious production and execution. Since then the band has often been copied but rarely equaled.

This juggernaut gained mass and momentum with relentless touring alongside such greats METALLICA, CLUTCH, EYEHATEGOD and many more.

Eventually, following the release of In the Arms of God in 2005, Keenan decided to focus all his energy on his hometown band DOWN… until now.

Pepper Keenan – vocals, guitar
Woodroe Weatherman – guitar
Mike Dean – bass, vocals
Reed Mullin – drums, vocals

Corrosion of Conformity, “On the Hunt” (Unreleased Skynyrd Cover)

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Live Review: Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity and The Shrine in New Hampshire, 10.09.15

Posted in Reviews on October 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

clutch 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

It was only about an hour and a half to the Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, from my office, which felt like something of a miracle. Maryland heavy rock kingpins Clutch last played the venue about two years ago, but between it being the beginning of what will no doubt be a comprehensive touring cycle in support of their newly-released 11th album, Psychic Warfare (review here), and their partnering with the reunited four-piece incarnation of Corrosion of Conformity with SoCal heavy skaters The Shrine opening, it was an easy sell as far as I was concerned. Clearly I wasn’t the only one. I walked into the venue a little before The Shrine went on, and the place was already fairly packed. A large room, the prevailing mood was celebratory and ready to blow off steam. The Shrine (Photo by JJ Koczan)I think people were just looking for a good time.

And in kicking off the evening with a classic-rocking-but-somehow-still-punker boot to the ass, The Shrine seemed only too ready to get that good time moving. I had wondered how their very-Californian sound would translate to a chilly autumn night in New Hampshire — even one right across the street from a beach — but the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Josh Landau, bassist Courtland Murphy and drummer Jeff Murray have busted their collective ass on the road the last couple years, and if they were out of their element, you never would’ve known it watching them on stage. Last I saw them was in early-2013 with Graveyard (review here) in Philly, and it was plain to see at the Casino Ballroom how much they’ve come into their own since. Their second album, Bless Off, was released by Tee Pee last year (I didn’t review it, but should have), following up their aptly-titled 2012 debut, Primitive Blast (review here), and their new one, Rare Breed, is out at the end of this month in Europe and in Jan. here in the States as their first in Century Media.

Their set felt quick, but it was enough to give a sense of the new album in songs like “The Vulture,” “Savage Skulls and Nomads,” which Landau told the crowd was about 1970s street gangs in New York, “Coming Down Quick” and “Death to Invaders” (don’t quote me on that last one, but I think that was it), running from the initial uproariousness of their first record to the thicker grooves of the second. This was the fifth night of the tour, which will run through Oct. 23 with the same three bands, and The Shrine were duly locked in, Murray keeping some bounce in the drums while also adding gallop to some of the The Shrine (Photo by JJ Koczan)more Motörheady riffing from the guitar while Murphy added backing vocals and a steady foundation in the low end. They finished with “Nothing Forever,” the longest cut from Bless Off, which emphasized some of the complexity in their approach — not t0 mention the tightness of their execution — that I think gets lost sometimes in how they present the band. Not that they should be stoic prog rockers, what they’re doing clearly works, but they’re tough to ignore after you watch them play. I’ll hope to get the chance to hear Rare Breed.

I was trying to think of the last time I saw the Pepper Keenan-fronted incarnation of Corrosion of Conformity, and I think it was in 2005. They would have been out supporting that year’s In the Arms of God, which got a mixed reception on its arrival but in my estimation remains underrated, and I believe it was Irving Plaza in New York. Weedeater and Alabama Thunderpussy may or may not have also played. Either way, it’s been a while. With the lineup of Keenan plus bassist/vocalist Mike Dean, guitarist/vocalist Woodroe Weatherman and drummer Reed Mullin — who’ve been playing as the “Animosity-era” trio the last several years and released an EP and two also-underrated albums in 2014’s IX (review here) and 2012’s declarative Corrosion of Conformity (review here) through Candlelight — C.O.C. Corrosion of Conformity (Photo by JJ Koczan)have been playing shows throughout Europe and the UK since earlier this year, but to my knowledge this marks their first US run, at least on the East Coast, and it will preface a headlining tour set to start next month. A practice run? Maybe, but they hardly seemed rusty.

Set-wise, they dipped as far back as “Vote with a Bullet” from 1991’s Blind — which was Keenan‘s introduction to the band as vocalist/guitarist — and as far forward as the uptempo “Paranoid Opioid” from In the Arms of God, but the focus was on their two ’90s landmarks, Deliverance (1994) and Wiseblood (1996), and as someone who’s been rooting for the trio lineup the last several years sort of as underdogs working against the expectations of that portion of their audience dug deep into the heavy Southern Sabbathisms of those records, I had forgotten just how special that material actually is — songs like “Long Whip/Big America,” “Heaven’s Not Overflowing,” with which they opened, “Wiseblood” and “Seven Angels.” Hearing Dean and Mullin and Weatherman all switching off in backing vocal roles, or better, leading a sing-along all at once, was exhilarating, and Keenan, who’s spent the last several years in Down‘s descent into post-Kirk Windstein caricature machismo, is a frontman of undeniable charisma.Corrosion of Conformity (Photo by JJ Koczan) There were some sound issues — a chirp of feedback when everyone got on mic during “Albatross,” etc. — but there was very little that would’ve been able to hold C.O.C. back, and even in the slower “13 Angels,” which was the sole representation from 2000’s America’s Volume Dealer, their last album as this four-piece (Stanton Moore of Nola jammers Galactic played drums on In the Arms of God), they were dead on in serving a refresher of just what a substantial portion of their fanbase has been clamoring for pretty much since they stopped playing circa 2006.

Keenan thanked Clutch from the stage for bringing them out and letting them, “Get their shit back together,” but the bigger news was when he announced that C.O.Cwere in the process of signing to Nuclear Blast and that they’d have a new album out with this lineup in 2016. I had no official word, but I’d assume John Custer, who’s helmed all their records since Blind, will produce. Once he said it, which was I believe before “Vote with a Bullet” preceded “Albatross” and “Clean My Wounds” at the end of the set, my mind immediately flashed to the possibilities for what it might sound like, the balance of songwriting, who does vocals where — does the hardcore punk track still get relegated to the end of the tracklist? — and so on. Two months out from the New Year, a landmark for 2016 may have just been revealed.

Finding that out alone would’ve made my night. Even without a show. I mean, if I read that on Facebook or some shit,Clutch (Photo by JJ Koczan) I’d have been like, “Well, my evening can end now, I feel like I’ve hit a satisfactory quota of awesome.” But there was still a gig going on, and Clutch were headlining! Similar to what they did after releasing Earth Rocker (review here) in 2013, and really going back further than that as well, the set was highly focused on the new album. Their stated method of one band member between vocalist Neil Fallon, guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines and drummer Jean-Paul Gaster picking an evening’s setlist always leaves me guessing who’s responsible for what show, but in any case, between “X-Ray Visions” opening, “Firebirds,” “A Quick Death in Texas,” “Sucker for the Witch,” “Your Love is Incarceration,” “Our Lady of Electric Light,” “Noble Savage,” “Behold the Colossus” and “Son of Virginia,” the only song from Psychic Warfare unrepresented was the penultimate “Decapitation Blues.” Otherwise, they played the whole record, which coming from them is just what the crowd both expected and wanted.

“Son of Virginia,” which closed the regular set before a three-song encore, got a particularly vehement response, but “The Face” from Earth Rocker had me pulling my earplugs out to sing along, and “Elephant Riders” from 1998’s The Elephant Riders and “Dragonfly” from that same album felt like something special tossed in for longer-term fans, particularly the latter, which is a rarer inclusion. Their presence and delivery something of a given, Clutch seemed in likewise good spirits to the crowd, Fallon picking up the guitar more than he did when they were out for Earth Rocker to join Sult even on a faster cut like “Your Love is Incarceration.” They’re still tightening up some of the new material — other songs have been around for more than a year already and included in sets — but one assumes that by the time they get around to the inevitable live album sometime in 2016 or 2017, it will be no less second nature (or first, I guess) than “Cypress Grove” from 2004’s Blast Tyrant, Clutch (Photo by JJ Koczan)which has become a perennial favorite and was clearly known to the packed Casino Ballroom, readily aware of that black plastic bag in the back of a jacked-up Ford.

Who could argue with an encore launched by “The Wolfman Kindly Requests…” from Earth Rocker? From its “Party’s over you all got to go” chorus to the bigger nod of its ending, the song feels hand-constructed to appear near the finish of a set, and joined by the more raucous “The Mob Goes Wild” from Blast Tyrant, for which Bryan “Uzi” Hinkley from Never Got Caught and formerly of Tree joined in on guitar, Clutch seemed geared to cap the night in high-octane fashion, but they cut back and let the more spacious “Electric Worry,” the highlight of 2007’s From Beale St. to Oblivion and an unmistakable precursor to a song like “Son of Virginia,” finish, with the uptempo kick of “One Eye Dollar” tacked on, which is nothing new but still feels like a bonus each time. One felt as though the entire venue, which was built and originally opened in 1899, was caught in the around-the-horn swirling rhythm.

By the time I managed to make my way out, the sidewalk was already flooded with weirdos, working-types and the other such and sundry who’d attended, the off-season windchill not drawing much of a shoreline crowd. I had about another 90 minutes to get home still ahead of me, so didn’t hang around long, but got to see a couple old friends and that’s always restorative, even if brief. Same could be said of the show as a whole, I suppose.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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Corrosion of Conformity Announce Tour Dates with Brant Bjork, Saviours and Mothership

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

corrosion of conformity (Photo by Tsetsos)

Already on tour this Fall with Clutch, the semi-reunited four-piece incarnation of Corrosion of Conformity have announced a run of headlining dates to follow that as they continue to mark 20 years since the release of their 1995 classic, Deliverance. At this point, aside from wanting very, very badly to see them play again, I’m curious to find out if C.O.C. will do another record with Pepper Keenan on guitar/vocals alongside bassist/vocalist Mike Dean, guitarist Woody Weatherman and drummer Reed Mullin, or if it’s just going to be live shows from here on out. Rumblings and rumors have been heard, pull quotes from interviews and so on, but that’s a far cry from a release date, and when and if it does happen, new C.O.C. is going to be a landmark.

Already it’s been a decade since the underrated In the Arms of God, which was their last album with Keenan as frontman, the band releasing a self-titled in 2012 and IX in 2014 as a trio on Candlelight Records, so you’d have to say they’re due. Support on this tour comes from Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk BandSaviours and Mothership, all of which only makes it more badass.

Dates follow:

UPDATE 9/16: I’m not sure what’s going on with this tour as some of the dates have disappeared from what’s on the poster below. The most recently-posted list of tour dates appears in blue:

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: Okay, so it looks like the shows will go down as seen in the flyer below. Something about contracts and what was supposed to be announced and what wasn’t. I’m gonna keep the list of dates in blue as it is, and if your town’s not on there, check the flyer and maybe it’s there and the rest will work out as it will. Fun afternoon though:

coc tour

Mon/Sep-28th Motörhead’s MotörBoat
Sat/Oct-03 Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
Sun/Oct-04 St Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
Tue/Oct-06 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
Wed/Oct-07 Charlotte, NC @ Amos’ Southend
Fri/Oct-09 Hampton Beach, NH @ Hampton Beach Casino
Sat/Oct-10 Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
Sun/Oct-11 New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place
Tue/Oct-13 Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
Wed/Oct-14 Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
Thu/Oct-15 Grand Rapids, MI @ Orbit Room
Fri/Oct-16 Sauget, IL @ Pop’s Nightclub
Sat/Oct-17 Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
Sun/Oct-18 Fargo, ND @ Scheels Arena
Tue/Oct-20 Billings, MT @ Shrine Auditorium
Thu/Oct-22 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Fri/Oct-23 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Sun/Oct-25 COC Headline show Las Vegas @ Vinyl Hard Rock
Mon/Oct-26 Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
Wed/Oct-28 Austin, TX @ Austin Music Hall
Thu/Oct-29 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
Fri/Oct-30 Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
Sat/Oct-31 New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre
Sun/Nov-01 Birmingham @Iron City
Thu/Nov-12 Atlanta, GA @ The Loft
Fri/Nov-13 Shreveport, LA @ Riverside Warehouse
Mon/Nov-16 Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock
Tue/Nov-17 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
Wed/Nov-18 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Fri/Nov-20 Vancouver, BC @ Venue Nightclub
Sat/Nov-21 Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
Mon/Nov-23 Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
Tue/Nov-24 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
Wed/Nov-25 Minneapolis, MN @ Mill City Nights
Sat/Nov-28 Cleveland, OH @ The Odeon
Sun/Nov-29 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Tue/Dec-01 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
Thu/Dec-03 Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar
Mon/Dec-07 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Wed/Dec-09 Virginia Beach, VA @ Shaka’s Live
Thu/Dec-10 Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre

C.O.C., “Seven Days” Live at Roskilde 2015

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Friday Full-Length: Corrosion of Conformity, Deliverance

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 13th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

C.O.C., Deliverance (1994)

You’d be more likely to win a fight against the sky than successfully argue against C.O.C.‘s Deliverance. Their 1994 fourth album and released as their first on Columbia Records a decade after their debut, Eye for an Eye, it was the record that marked the beginning of the Pepper Keenan era. Following 1991’s Blind, on which Keenan played guitar and sang on “Vote with a Bullet,” he stepped into the guitarist/vocalist role to fill the gap vacated by Karl Agell, playing alongside the founding trio of guitarist Woody Weatherman, bassist/vocalist Mike Dean and drummer/sometimes vocalist Reed Mullin. The change was palpable sonically. While Blind was a shift in itself, departing from the crossover hardcore punk/thrash of Eye for an Eye and its 1985 follow-up, Animosity, Deliverance pushed boldly into riff-led heavy Southern rock, and in so doing became a standard-bearer for the genre that still holds up 21 years later. Swamped with classic songs — and, at the time, commercial hits — like “Albatross” and “Clean My Wounds,” Deliverance is in many ways the quintessential heavy rock album, and even deeper cuts like “Shake Like You,” “My Grain” and “Shelter” offer no letup in quality. Like the best of the classics, to even attempt to estimate the scope of its influence would be futile, and it remains as relevant today as it was when it was released, if not more so.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that, after several years and two albums by the original trio, Corrosion of Conformity have reunited with Keenan for a round of UK dates that, presumably, herald much more touring to come. Sooner or later, they’ll bring that show to the States. Keenan, who’s spent the last decade in Down following the release of C.O.C.‘s underrated 2005 outing, In the Arms of God, carries with him a commercial profile that the band seems to have embraced, playing bigger rooms and promising standards from the Deliverance album and its 1996 follow-up, Wiseblood, in the setlist. The question is inevitably whether or not the four-piece will construct a new album, but with each rehearsal video that surfaces or concert report that comes out, the anticipation for this form of C.O.C.‘s return grows more fervent. It might be a year or two before they get there, since they seem to be testing the waters on the road first, but unless something falls apart in a big way or for some reason the situation is untenable for the players involved, a new record seems fairly inevitable.

But of course, that’s speculation. In the meantime, enjoy the classic on its own terms and if you haven’t, dig into 2012’s self-titled and 2014’s IX, released with DeanWeatherman and Mullin, because both records were badass and are in severe danger of being lost in the wake of this reunion. It would be a shame. Hope you dig it.

I’m not around Monday, so I’m going to try to get a podcast up. Have to take a defensive driving class because the problem with Massachusetts driving is definitely me and not Massachusetts driving. Right. Whatever. I’ll try to get a podcast up Sunday night or early Monday morning, but I’ve also been traveling this week, so it’s been a total mess. Have also slept like crap and been out of my mind generally, hence the lack of reviews. Le Betre/King Buffalo on Tuesday, Radio Adds, Acid King and Blackout after that. Also need to do that Monolord record and about a million fucking others. I can’t even keep it all straight in my head. Whatever.

If you’ve emailed me or Facebooked me this week and I haven’t gotten back, I’m sorry. I’m working on it.

Hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Corrosion of Conformity Announce West Coast Tour with Bl’ast and Brant Bjork

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Now, if you read the interview that went up last Tuesday with C.O.C. bassist/vocalist Mike Dean, or at least took a look at the comments, you probably figured out it was Bl’ast and Brant Bjork that Corrosion of Conformity would be touring with on the West Coast, but it’s always nice to have confirmation anyway, and as the PR wire informs, Portland death-sludgers Lord Dying will be opening for the trek. C.O.C.‘s new album, IX (short review here), is out tomorrow on Candlelight after a manufacturing delay pushed  back the original June 25 release date.

The legendary North Carolinian trio also head to Australia and New Zealand in July. All dates and info below:

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY: North Carolina Crossover Icons Announce North American Live Assault

With the official release of their new full-length, fittingly titled IX, now just days away, North Carolina crossover icons, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, are very pleased to announce their first North American live assaults in support of the offering. The near two-week run will commence on August 20th in Spokane, and come to a close in Vancouver on September 1st. The band will be joined by Bl’ast!, Brant Bjork & The Low Desert Punk Band and Lord Dying!

The trek follows the band’s live takeovers next month in New Zealand and Australia. “We are really fired up to bring COC back to New Zealand and Australia for the first time in over a decade,” says vocalist/bassist Mike Dean. “I’ve been with Vista Chino and had a great experience on Soundwave and the shows on the side. Our set is shaping up to include songs from IX, Deliverance, the self-titled, and Animosity.”

7/18/2014 Kings Arms – Auckland, NZ
7/19/2014 Valhalla – Wellington, NZ
7/20/2014 Churchills – NZ
7/24/2014 Crowbar – Brisbane, AUS
7/25/2014 NSC – Sydney AUS
7/26/2014 Reverence Hotel – Melbourne AUS
7/27/2014 Enigma Bar – Adelaide AUS

w/ Bl’ast!, Brant Bjork & The Low Desert Punk Band, Lord Dying
8/20/2014 The Hop – Spokane, WA
8/21/2014 In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
8/22/2014 Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO
8/23/2014 Sister – Albuquerque, NM
8/24/2014 Club Red – Mesa, AZ
8/26/2014 Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA
8/27/2014 The Roxy – Los Angeles, CA
8/28/2014 DNA – San Francisco, CA
8/29/2014 Catalyst – Santa Cruz CA
8/30/2014 Dante’s – Portland, OR
8/31/2014 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
9/01/2014 The Rickshaw Theater – Vancouver, BC

Captured by the band alongside long-time friend and colleague John Custer, writing for IX commenced in the early months of 2013 with demoing and recording starting by Summer’s end. Completed in January, IX clocks in at nearly forty-five minutes. Sludge, doom, punk… it’s all in the grooves that fans have come to expect from CORROSION OF CONFORMITY.

The planned June 24th release date of IX was moved to July 1st with the 180-gram vinyl pressing expected later in the month. Fans that preordered the CD directly from Candlelight should be finding their copy in post boxes now as the eleven-song digipak continues to garner glowing reviews critics nationally.

Corrosion of Conformity, “On Your Way” from IX (2014)

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Corrosion of Conformity Interview with Mike Dean: The Power of Expression

Posted in Features on June 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Next Tuesday, July 1, is the release date for Corrosion of Conformity‘s aptly-titled ninth album, IX, which also serves as the band’s second full-length through Candlelight Records since their reboot with the trio lineup of bassist/vocalist Mike Dean, guitarist Woody Weatherman and drummer/vocalist Reed Mullin, following on the heels of their 2012 self-titled (review here) and subsequent, Scion A/V-sponsored Megalodon EP. The latter, which was also released in 2012, seemed to solidify many of the ideas of the former, and helped to affirm the grooves and the varied approach that C.O.C., now 30 years on from their first album, Eye for an Eye, would present. IX (short review here), is consistent in progressing this roughness of sound and steady, rolling feel, but as cuts like “Denmark Vesey” and “Tarquinius Superbus” show, C.O.C. never completely let go of their roots in hardcore punk. Knowing that at any point they could immediately take off at top speed adds an element of danger to the proceedings, and Dean, Weatherman and Mullin sound only too happy to revel in it.

The latter track, which appears deep into IX‘s side B sandwiched between the high-grade Southern heavy rock of “The Hanged Man” and “Who You Need to Blame,” is particularly interesting for how directly it plays one side off the other, its five-and-a-half-minute runtime split between raging forward motion and righteous nod. It serves to summarize what C.O.C. have done best since coming back as a trio, which is to foster an approach simple enough in its elements but based around a quality of songwriting that speaks to the band’s legacy both in albums like 1985’s Animosity and 1996’s Wiseblood while still forming something new from them. In both their style and how they’re developing within it, Corrosion of Conformity circa 2014 are geared toward a natural sound and focused on capturing a live feel in their recordings. As an album, IX not only succeeds in this, but shows the band sounding more comfortable and confident in their approach as well.

We were on a bit of a rough line in terms of connection, but in the interview that follows, Dean discusses how they’ve arrived where they are, including their longtime collaboration with producer John Custer, with whom Dean worked on this album as an audio engineer, the progression they’ve undertaken since the self-titled was put together, touring, and how finalizing material in the studio as it’s being recorded can help give a record a sense of spontaneity. Also discussed at the end is Dean‘s time in Kyuss-offshoot Vista Chino and what the future might hold there. After some drama with the booking, Corrosion of Conformity will head to Australia this summer, and they have plans in the works for a West Coast tour this fall and will no doubt continue to support IX for the foreseeable future, keeping their momentum going at a clip to match their speediest riffing.

Full Q&A is after the jump. Please enjoy.

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Buzz Osborne, Corrosion of Conformity, Blackout, Pale Horseman, Dwell

Posted in Radio on May 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click here to listen.

A couple big names making their way onto the playlist this week, with Melvins guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osborne‘s first solo album and the new record, IX, from the Animosity-era lineup of C.O.C.. Some other cool stuff as well from Blackout, Dwell and Pale Horseman, so if you get to check any of it out, it’s worth digging further than what you might already recognize. But that’s almost always the case. Here we go.

Adds for May 23, 2014:

Buzz Osborne, This Machine Kills Artists

If you were to sit down and draw up a blueprint for what an acoustic solo record from Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne might sound like, This Machine Kills Artists would probably be it. Especially if your blueprint just had the words, “Like the Melvins, but acoustic,” on it. For someone who’s long since been the master of his sonic domain to step out in any fashion from the formula is interesting — and Buzzo makes a habit of doing so, usually in the company of Dale Crover — but on his own, the 17-track collection he’s produced is mostly predictable if also largely inoffensive. Songs like “Everything’s Easy for You,” “Laid Back Walking” and “The Blithering Idiot” are easy enough to imagine as Melvins tunes, and I had to check twice to make sure “The Ripping Driving” wasn’t one, but nothing overstays its welcome, and if Osborne is beginning a creative exploration branching off from his main outfit, it doesn’t seem fair to begrudge him starting from the root. The constant critical suckoff of anything Melvins-related notwithstanding, This Machine Kills Artists could be the start of an intriguing progression of Buzzo as a solo artist, or it could be a whim dabbled in and left to rust. Melvins fans will be on its junk either way, so I doubt it matters. On Thee Facebooks, Ipecac Recordings.

Corrosion of Conformity, IX

There was a news story the other day floating around the interwebs where Pepper Keenan said the name Corrosion of Conformity or something and people started getting all gooey about the possibility of a reunion. Uh huh. In the meantime, the actual band C.O.C. have put together a second full-length of unmitigated kickassery sans-Keenan following their 2012 self-titled (review here) and subsequent Scion A/V-sponsored Megalodon EP, and while I get the loyalty to one lineup or another for any band, to discount the quality of what Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin are doing right now — right this second — is just fucking stupid. IX, released by Candlelight, is more cohesive, more grooved out than was the self-titled, but songs like “Denmark Vasey” and “Tarquinius Superbus” still retain their crossover hardcore edge. Elsewhere, “The Hanged Man,” “The Nectar” (which gets a reprise as the album’s leadout), and opener “Brand New Sleep” touch off high order Sabbathian sludge rock and make fools of those pining for records that dropped 20 years ago. This band is vital, this record a triumph. On thee Facebooks, Candlelight Records.

Blackout, Converse EP

So apparently Converse have access to a studio in BBQ aficionados Blackout‘s native Brooklyn, which makes sense in this brave new world of corporate patronage of underground heavy, and they invited the three-piece down to record a couple cuts last week. Yup, last week. And the EP’s out now. Welcome to the future. Three tracks capture Blackout in raw, pretty live form, more fuckall tossoff than was their 2013 We are Here debut (review here), but doubtless that owes to the circumstances. Tones are huge all the same. They begin with the insistent push of an eponymous song, a heavy roller that’s short at 3:34 compared to the farther-ranging “Tannered,” which follows in likewise thickened Melvinsian form, some screams and growls thrown in for good measure lead to a plodding slowdown at the end, and for a sendoff, Blackout offer a take on Fleetwood Mac‘s “The Chain” that’s probably less ironic than it seems on the surface. Kind of a stopgap release, but it’s a free download and heavy as hell, so you’ll get no complaints out of me when it comes to Blackout‘s bacon-wrapped riffage. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Pale Horseman, Mourn the Black Lotus

Mourn the Black Lotus, the second long-player from Chicago bruiser rockers Pale Horseman comes topped with a Godfleshy Justin K. Broadrick remix of the song “Fork in the Road” from their 2013 self-titled debut. Not exactly representative of the burl in earlier cuts like “Running for the Caves” or “Conquistador,” both of which have riffs that seem retooled from ’90s-style hardcore, but a neato ending anyway, and it does provide some different context for the echoes on the throaty vocals throughout. Pale Horseman aren’t light on groove or really anything else, and the bulk of Mourn the Black Lotus is given to pummeling weight, though it’s not without atmospheric moments as well in lead sections. A clicky kick-drum aside, the album has a clean, crisp, metallized sound, but the groove in “Grudgulence” belies some crustier heritage. This is consistent with their first outing, which was also put to tape with Bongripper guitarist Dennis Pleckham at Comatose Studios, though there’s some progression in their aggro-sludge push. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Dwell, Far Dark Helm

Slow, as dark as its cover would indicate and straddling the line between post-metal angularity and doomed atmospherics, Far Dark Helm from Oakland, CA, trio Dwell — likely not named for the interior design magazine — periodically shift from the nod of “To Scry on Lamentations” into blastbeaten extremity. It doesn’t last too long, and if you’re previously hypnotized by that track’s repetitions, you might miss it, but it’s there and the changes add depth to the band’s approach. Far Dark Helm is comprised of four tracks, all between nine and 10 minutes long, and the remaining three make up installments of a title-track that don’t necessarily bleed into each other directly, but flow well nonetheless. Samples strewn about a rough production give Dwell‘s second full-length a sludgy edge, but the three-piece seem most in there element when exploring a grueling churn like that which rounds out the second “Far Dark Helm” leading to the sharp turns of the third. Including the opener seems to draw away from the theme of the record, but the ambience is consistent. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Also added this week were records by Harsh Toke, The Cult of Dom Keller and Begravningsentreprenörerna. For the complete list of updates, click here.


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