U.S. Christmas Reissuing Debut Album Prayer Meeting Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

If you want to be freaked out, go ahead and type ‘us christmas prayer meeting’ in your search bar. Because while you might be thinking of Marion, North Carolina, psych-of-the-land purveyors U.S. Christmas and their 2003 debut album, Prayer Meeting, I can guarantee you there are a whole bunch of weirdos out there with different intentions along those lines. And it turns out they want to get together! Around the holidays! Shudder.

The point, however, is that U.S. Christmas will, in fact, reissue said debut next month through Hypershape Records in remastered and limited edition form, being sold in branded wooden boxes that look more than a little bit awesome. I was always back and forth on these guys — sometimes I got it, sometimes I didn’t — but they were always massively well received, and for anyone who didn’t get the chance to hear this one when it was first issued by the band 15 years ago, seven years after their last record seems as good a time as any.

Details come from the PR wire:

US CHRISTMAS

U.S. CHRISTMAS: Appalachian mountains’ dark space rock institution to release early recordings!

Seven years following the release of their last full-length album “The Valley Path” (2011, Neurot Recordings), American pastoral psychedelic congregation U.S. CHRISTMAS return with a newly remastered version of their awe-inspiring debut studio offering “Prayer Meeting” in November.

“Prayer Meeting” was originally the very first unreleased record by U.S. CHRISTMAS, hailing from Marion NC, in the middle of the Appalachian region.

USX have a long career and several released on the mighty Neurot Recordings, published just after an ultra-limited demo batch of “Prayer Meeting” was around.

“Some bands make demos. We made a record. We didn’t do this for a label, an agent, or anyone but ourselves. It was the first step toward what would become a series of connected works. This record marks a special time in my life, and I’m sure the other dudes agree. Those days in the little trailer in Marion, NC were electric and filled with building power. Listen up, these are the sounds of our foundation.”

Nate Hall, 2018

“Prayer Meeting” finally has been rediscovered, professionally remastered, and found its home in a ltd series of handmade and firebranded wooden boxes at Hypershape Records. Each box will be strictly unique and different from the previous one and will contain postcards and special gifts of nature collected by Nate himself on the Appalachian mountains, other than a luxury 8-panel digipack with visuals reboot at HPS headquarter. Honest and sincere record, it represents how the USX path started back in the days.

U.S. CHRISTMAS, active since 2002, has released 3 full length albums on Neurot Recordings, has performed across Europe and Nate himself performed at Roadburn Festival, they toured extensively US in the past and collaborated with musicians like Scott Kelly of Neurosis, Brett Netson of Caustic Resin and later Earth, Mike Scheidt of Yob…

“Prayer Meeting” tracklist:
1. Death By Horses
2. Devil’s Flower
3. Lazarus
4. Your Soul
5. Mantis
6. Norpo
7. Under The Nails
8. Queen of the World
9. Darling Corey
10. Gengivitis
11. Out

Written, performed and recorded by U.S. CHRISTMAS

– Nate Hall: guitar, vocals
– Tim Greene: drums
– John Presnell: bass
– Matt Johnson: theremin

All tracks recorded by Tim Greene except “Devil’s Flower”, recorded by Marshall Grant.
Remastered by Alexander Lizzori in Italy, Spring 2018
Artwork by Giorgio Salmoiraghi
Hypershape Records, 2018

facebook.com/usxofficial
https://uschristmas.bigcartel.com/
hypershaperecords.bandcamp.com
hypershaperecords.bigcartel.com

U.S. Christmas, Prayer Meeting (2011)

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R.I.P. Carlos Denogean of Weedeater

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

weedeater carlos denogean

North Carolinian sludge stalwarts Weedeater mourn the loss of one of their own with the passing this weekend of drummer Carlos Denogean. The trio toured this past summer starting in June at Maryland Doom Fest 2018 and performed earlier this month at Psycho Las Vegas. At this time, the cause of death has not been made public, but bassist/vocalist “Dixie” Dave Collins and guitarist Dave “Shep” Shepherd posted a statement on social media to note Denogean’s passing and ask for privacy.

Hi everyone,

There is no easy way to say this. Our dear friend and bandmate Carlos Denogean passed away yesterday. It is with a heavy heart and intense sadness that we bring you this unfortunate news. He left this world far too soon and will be missed immensely by all of us. Anyone that knew Carlos was enamored by his kindness and his warm personality. He was an incredibly talented musician and a real joy to be around. He brought something truly special to the band and we all loved working with him. We simply cannot express how devastated we are by this loss. We don’t know any details at this time and we ask that you please leave us to grieve now along with Carlos’ family. Thank you for all of your kind wishes. Cherish what you have while you have it.

– Weedeater

Having been fortunate enough to see Denogean play in Maryland at the start of Weedeater’s June/July tour, he was an energetic performer who brought character and swing to Weedeater’s established material while playing with a sense of personality that fit well with the long-established chemistry of Collins and Shepherd. Condolences on behalf of this site and myself to Denogean’s family, friends and bandmates in this difficult time. Weedeater have not posted any word about their future plans, and neither would one expect them to so close to this loss.

They were in Europe earlier this spring for appearances at Roadburn and Desertfest in London and Berlin, and were slated to appear in October at Slaughter-Que in Atlanta, Georgia.

Weedeater’s latest album, which preceded Denogean’s arrival to the band, was Goliathan, released in 2015 on Season of Mist.

https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal/
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/album/goliathan
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Weedeater, Live at Psycho Las Vegas, Aug. 17, 2018

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Corrosion of Conformity Announce UK Tour with Orange Goblin, Fireball Ministry and Black Moth

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Can you frickin’ imagine C.O.C. and Orange Goblin on the same bill? I’m sorry, but that’s just awesome. Both will be supporting new records — for Corrosion of Conformity, it’s earlier-this-year’s No Cross No Crown (review here), and for Orange Goblin, the impending The Wolf Bites Back (review later this week) — and with support from Fireball Ministry, lest we forget their own new album, Remember the Story (review here), which came out toward the end of 2017 — and Black Moth, the proceedings are all the more righteous for those who’ll be fortunate enough to witness them.

As fate and clever timing would have it, C.O.C. were in the UK this weekend playing Download and they’ve got another date in Colchester tonight ahead of hitting mainland Europe tomorrow to begin a tour that includes a couple dates meeting up with Converge and a stop at Hellfest. This of course will lead to the next tour, which is another run with Black Label Society in the States following up on the one at the start of the year. That’s in July/August, then in Oct./Nov. it’s back to the UK for the aforementioned excellence alongside Orange Goblin et al. It’s been a busy year for these dudes, especially as they’ve been largely without drummer Reed Mullin, who’s been unable to tour with the band following knee surgery and is, as of the last social media post on the subject, understandably anxious to return.

The PR wire brings the latest, but really, the point here is go see C.O.C. You have the means, motive and opportunity, so make it happen:

corrosion of conformity photo by Dean Karr

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY To Kick Off European Tour This Weekend; Band Confirms Fall UK Dates + Second Leg Of North American Tour With Black Label Society And Eyehategod Nears

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will return to Europe this weekend for a stretch of live dates set to commence June 9th and run through June 24th. The journey includes special performances with Converge as well as appearances at Download, Hellfest, Copenhell, and Graspop. In July, the band will return to North American stages to kick off the second leg of their tour supporting Black Label Society. Slated to begin July 15th, the tour will make its way through nearly two dozen cities upon its conclusion on August 11th. Additional support will again be provided by Eyehategod. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY will close their summer live takeover with a performance at Loud And Heavy Fest in Fort Worth Texas sharing the stages with the likes of Cody Jinks and Whiskey Myers! In October, the band will take on an eight-date UK headlining tour with Orange Goblin, Fireball Ministry, and Black Moth. See all confirmed dates below.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY continues to tour in support of their critically lauded No Cross No Crown full-length, released earlier this year via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Captured in North Carolina with longtime producer John Custer, the record marks the first studio recording with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan in over a decade and, earning the #67 spot on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, #12 on the Billboard Top Current Albums Chart, and #3 on the Top Hard Music Albums Chart upon its first week of release, is the highest charting album of the band’s career.

No Cross No Crown is available on CD, digital, vinyl, and cassette formats. Various order bundles are available at nuclearblast.com/coc-nocrossnocrown.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY:
6/09/2018 Download – Donnington Park, UK
6/11/2018 Colchester Arts Centre – Colchester, UK
6/12/2018 FortaRock – Nijmegen, NL
6/13/2018 Den Atelier – Luxembourg, LU
6/14/2018 Universum – Stuttgart, DE
6/16/2018 Konzertfabrik Z7 – Pratteln, CH
6/17/2018 Santeria Social Club – Milan, IT
6/18/2018 Orion – Rome, IT w/ Converge
6/19/2018 VAZ Hafen – Innsbruck, AU w/ Converge
6/20/2018 La Belle Electrique – Grenoble, FR w/ Converge
6/22/2018 Hellfest – Clisson, FR
6/23/2018 Copenhell – København, DK
6/24/2018 Graspop – Dessel, BE

w/ Black Label Society, Eyehategod:
7/15/2018 Inkcarceration Music Festival @ Ohio State Reformatory – Mansfield, OH *
7/16/2018 Monarch Music Hall – Peoria, IA *
7/17/2018 The Forge – Joliet, IL *
7/18/2018 20 Monroe Live – Grand Rapids, MI
7/20/2018 Bourbon Theatre – Lincoln, NE
7/21/2018 Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK
7/22/2018 Cotillion Ballroom – Wichita, KS
7/23/2018 The District – Sioux Falls, SD
7/25/2018 The Clyde Theatre – Wayne, IN
7/27/2018 Si Hall At The Fairgrounds – Syracuse, NY
7/28/2018 Impact Music Festival – Bangor, ME
7/29/2018 The Webster – Hartford, CT*
7/30/2018 The Queen – Wilmington, DE
8/01/2018 The Mill & Mine – Knoxville, TN
8/02/2018 The Fillmore Charlotte – Charlotte, NC
8/03/2018 Phase 2 – Lynchburg, VA
8/05/2018 The Norva – Norfolk, VA
8/07/2018 Rebel – Toronto, ON
8/08/2018 Metlus – Montreal, QC
8/09/2018 Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, PA
8/10/2018 Paramount – Huntington, NY
8/11/2018 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
8/18/2018 Loud And Heavy Fest @ Panther Island Pavilion – Fort Worth, TX w/ Cody Jinks, Whiskey Myers

w/ Orange Goblin, Fireball Ministry, Black Moth:
10/26/2018 Engine Rooms – Southampton, UK
10/27/2018 02 Institute – Birmingham, UK
10/28/2018 Rock City – Nottingham, UK
10/30/2018 Ritz – Manchester, UK
11/01/2018 02 ABC- Glasgow, UK
11/02/2018 Plug – Sheffield, UK
11/03/2018 The Great Hall – Lardiff, UK
11/04/2018 02 Forum Kentish Town – London, UK
* No Eyehategod

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is:
Pepper Keenan – vocals, guitar
Woodroe Weatherman – guitar
Mike Dean – bass, vocals
Reed Mullin – drums, vocals

http://www.coc.com
http://www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity
http://www.twitter.com/coccabal
http://www.nuclearblast.com
http://www.facebook.com/nuclearblastusa

Corrosion of Conformity, “The Luddite” official video

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Weedeater Announce Tour with Zeke and Sierra; Playing Maryland Doom Fest & Electric Funeral Fest

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 1st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

So Weedeater are playing Maryland Doom Fest 2018, headlining the final night of the thing on June 24. In true Weedeater fashion, they’re using this as the launch point for a 30-date run alongside reignited speedrockers Zeke and about-to-have-the-adventure-of-a-lifetime outfit Sierra. Because, hey, if you’re playing one show, you might as well play 30, right? Anybody??

Well, to be fair, in addition to MDDF, they’ll be at Electric Funeral Fest in Denver a few nights later, so it’s not just the one fest appearance, but you get the point, and the point is that Weedeater just keep touring. Every time they come off the road — they were just in Europe playing God Luck and Good Speed in full at Roadburn as they did on a US run this past February — I think maybe they’ll head back into the studio, but nope, they’re just waiting to announce the next tour, the next destination. Destination: everywhere.

Going coast to coast in the interim and even heading up to Vancouver, they start in Maryland and finish even closer to home in the Paris of the South, as the PR wire confirms:

weedeater

WEEDEATER announce US tour

Notorious southern metal outfit WEEDEATER have announced a new US tour that will kick off on June 24. The tour sees them supported by speed-rock rippers ZEKE, UNSANE (on select dates,) and SIERRA. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below.

WEEDEATER was formed by front-man/bassist “Dixie” Dave Collins. Following the release of their 2001 debut ‘…And Justice For Y’All’, WEEDEATER immediately established themselves as a force in the U.S. tour circuit and quickly gained notoriety in the American metal scene. In the time since, the band have released three critically-acclaimed albums: ‘Sixteen Tons’ (2002), ‘God Luck And Good Speed’ (2007), and ‘Jason… The Dragon’ (2011), and toured around the world with the likes of DOWN, SAINT VITUS, HIGH ON FIRE, and THE MELVINS, HANK III, EARTH, SUNN O))) and more. The band has played prestigious festivals such as Maryland Deathfest, Hopscotch Festival, Stoned From The Underground, Asymmetry Festival, Roadburn Festival, Hellfest, and many more.

WEEDEATER TOUR DATES
All dates w/ ZEKE & SIERRA
June 24 Frederick, MD @ Maryland Doomfest
June 25 Cincinnati, OH @ Woodward Theatre
June 26 Bloomington, IL @ Night Shop
June 27 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
June 28 Minneapolis, MN @ Studio B
June 29 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room
June 30 Denver, CO @ Electric Funeral Fest
July 1 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
July 3 Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
July 4 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
July 5 Bellingham, WA @ Wild Buffalo
July 7 Portland, OR @ Bossanova Ballroom
July 8 Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
July 9 San Francisco, CA @ Slims
July 10 Santa Cruz, CA @ Catalyst
July 11 Los Angeles, CA @ Union Club
July 13 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
July 14 Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red
July 15 Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar
July 18 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister Bar
July 19 Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey
July 20 Austin, TX @ Lost Well
July 21 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
July 22 San Antonio, TX @ Korova
July 24 Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street
July 25 Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
July 26 Rock Island, IL @ Ribco
July 27 Rensselaer, IN @ Van Nationals
July 28 Nashville, TN @ Exit In
July 29 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight

https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal/
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/album/goliathan
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Weedeater, Goliathan (2015)

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The Obelisk Presents: Sourvein 25th Anniversary European Tour

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on March 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

sourvein tour poster

You can put them up against anyone you want, past or present, but there’s just about nobody who does it nastier than Sourvein. The Cape Fear, North Carolina-based sludgers are hitting the quarter-century mark in 2018, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have The Obelisk present their special 25th anniversary tour in collaboration with Wombat Booking and Highway Holidays.

Founded by inimitable frontman T-Roy Medlin in 1993, Sourvein‘s roots were dirty right from the start. Medlin had spent years operating tape samples for Buzzov*en, and his own outfit would prove even grittier, his own vicious screams cutting through dirt-caked Southern riffs in a style that would become widely influential as the years went on. Early splits with fellow pioneers like Grief, Negative Reaction, Bongzilla and indeed Buzzov*en would lead to later collaborations with the likes of Church of Misery and Rabies Caste, and their self-titled debut, Sourvein‘s Sourvein, arrived at the turn of the century via Game Two Records, tracks like “Dirty South” a clarion statement of intent that continue to resonate these many years later.

Will to Mangle followed a couple years later via Southern Lord, and then Sourvein really got down to business. Constant touring and constant shifts in the lineup have been the chaotic modus operandi for the band ever since. Those Church of Misery splits and other EPs would be landmarks, but it wasn’t until 2011 that Medlin and company put out another full-length, Black Fangs (review here), through Candlelight. Brutal as it was, it was also a clear signal that they wanted to do more stylistically than they ever had before.

At last, enter Aquatic Occult (review here). The fourth Sourvein full-length, produced by Mike Dean of C.O..C. and released in 2016, would be a pointed revamp of the band’s approach to their sound. Clean vocals, numerous guest spots, brooding atmospheres — all of these things let Sourvein show there was more to Southern sludge than the defiled grooves they’d always so gleefully proffered. But of course, there was plenty of that as well.

Once again, Sourvein hit the road. They’ve been back and forth in US and beyond since Aquatic Occult came out, and once again, as they embark on the “25 Years of Distortion” 2018 European tour, it’s an honor to have this site’s name attached to the proceedings.

My understanding is more dates are forthcoming, but here’s an initial batch to get us started:

Sourvein – Aquatic Occult European Tour 2018 – 25 Years of Distortion
21.04 Brussels
27.04 SWR Barroselas Metal Fest
03.05 Geneva
05.05 Desertfest London
11.05 Gothenburg
24.05 Tilburg
25.05 Liege

Sourvein on Thee Facebooks

Sourvein on Bandcamp

Sourvein at Metal Blade Records website

Wombat Booking website

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Weedeater Announce Tour Playing God Luck and Good Speed in Full

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

weedeater

Am I wrong, or is it time to start thinking of Weedeater as a straight-up blues band? I know they’re heavy and sludgy as hell, but in terms of their ethic of just getting on the road and apparently being there forever, proffering tunes with the ultimate lack of pretense, and doing their thing regardless of in whatever direction the world around them might be spinning — not to mention all that downtrodden whathaveyou — more and more they just seem like blues to me. Already confirmed for Roadburn 2018, Desertfest London 2018, Desertfest Berlin 2018 and Maryland Doom Fest 2018, the North Carolina trio hit the road next month playing 2007’s God Luck and Good Speed in full.

Why that record? Well, it was kind of a breakthrough for them when Southern Lord put it out in 2007, it’s got a catchy title, and hell, maybe after three solid years they just got bored of continuing to push 2015’s Season of Mist debut Goliathan (review here). Look, sometimes you need to change things up. It helps fight the blues.

From the PR wire:

weedeater god luck good speed tour poster

WEEDEATER announce ‘God Luck an Good Speed’ US tour

Notorious southern metal outfit WEEDEATER have announced a ‘God Luck and Good Speed” US tour that will kick off on Mar. 15. WEEDEATER will perform their classic album ‘God Luck and Good Speed’ in its entirety for the first time. A full list of confirmed tour dates can be found below:

‘God Luck and Good Speed’ was the first full-length WEEDEATER recorded with long-time engineer Steve Albini (NIRVANA, HIGH ON FIRE, PJ HARVEY) and was originally released on July 31, 2007.

WEEDEATER was formed by front-man/bassist “Dixie” Dave Collins. Following the release of their 2001 debut ‘…And Justice For Y’All’, WEEDEATER immediately established themselves as a force in the U.S. tour circuit and quickly gained notoriety in the American metal scene. In the time since, the band have released three critically-acclaimed albums: ‘Sixteen Tons’ (2002), ‘God Luck And Good Speed’ (2007), and ‘Jason… The Dragon’ (2011), and toured around the world with the likes of DOWN, SAINT VITUS, HIGH ON FIRE, and THE MELVINS, HANK III, EARTH, SUNN O))) and more. The band has played prestigious festivals such as Maryland Deathfest, Hopscotch Festival, Stoned From The Underground, Asymmetry Festival, Roadburn Festival, Hellfest, and many more.

WEEDEATER TOUR DATES
All dates w/ HYBORIAN and BASK
Mar. 15 Atlanta, GA @ Basement
Mar. 16 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
Mar. 17 Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
Mar. 18 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
Mar. 19 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Mar. 21 Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
Mar. 22 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
Mar. 23 Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo
Mar. 24 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar
Mar. 25 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
Mar. 27 Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlies
Mar. 28 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Mar. 29 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
Mar. 30 Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
Mar. 31 Little Rock, AR @ Whitewater
Apr. 1 New Orleans, LA @ Santos Bar
Apr. 2 Jacksonville FL @ Jack Rabbits
Apr. 3 Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero

https://www.facebook.com/weedmetal/
https://weedeater.bandcamp.com/album/goliathan
https://www.twitter.com/seasonofmist
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Weedeater, God Luck and Good Speed (2007)

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Corrosion of Conformity Post “The Luddite” Video; US Tour on Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

corrosion of conformity dean karr

So not that I’m awash in extra minutes-per-day or anything like that, but among the various ideas for writing projects kicking around my head lately has been a side-blog that theoretically would be called ‘Doomestic Living,’ which would basically serve as a chronicle for my adventures in my still-new position as a stay-at-home dad, a dude who likes music, and someone with assorted mental health issues. Sounds pretty indulgent, right? Don’t worry, I’m sure self-critique would be a huge factor. To wit, C.O.C. have a new video for “The Luddite” from their new record, No Cross No Crown (review here), and here’s how I might feature it as a post in said context:

The Patient Mrs. was out at physical therapy the other night, still recovering more than two months after her emergency C-section, learning which of her muscles medical professionals fucked up and how best to make them work again, etc. Pretty much every time she leaves the house these days and I’m home alone with The Pecan, I take it as a preview of what life will be like when she goes back to work. This was no exception.

He was fussy; had missed a nap. There was a bottle on the counter, but he’s still not taking a bottle from me, so basically when he gets hungry it’s a fight. Every time. He doesn’t want it. Apparently The Patient Mrs. has magic boobs (something I’ve always suspected) that require no effort on The Pecan’s part to extract milk from, so when he actually has to engage a sucking action on the nipple of a bottle, he gets pissed about it. I get it. The “There’s an easier way to do this and I prefer that” instinct. Very human.

I was waiting for PBS Newshour to come on and dicking around through YouTube on the tv in the living room. He was in his chair, sort of proto-kvetching. Grunting. He grunts a lot; some in distress, some in conversation. Grunty Pecan. I’d gotten the press release about the new Corrosion of Conformity video for “The Luddite” from Nuclear Blast earlier in the day, but as it came up in my recommendations, I decided to check it out. Good track as I knew from hearing the album, so what the hell.

The video’s pretty standard fare: mostly classic heavy rock fire and fury updated with digital presentation. Mike Dean looks badass as ever holding down the business of groove on bass while Pepper Keenan handles frontman duties, Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin presences unto themselves in their righteousness. The kind of thing that, if there were a Headbanger’s Ball and they let me host it, you’d most definitely see on Headbanger’s Ball. Nowadays, the internet. Fair enough. Good showcase for the track, at very least.

The Pecan was fucking mesmerized. In his two-plus months of life, I don’t think I’ve seen his attention so utterly and singularly wrapt by anything. Not even eating or pooping, and to-date, those have been his primary activities. And it wasn’t his first exposure either to television or to music videos either. C.O.C. held that baby’s gaze like nothing has yet.

I wound up watching him watching the video as much as I watched the video itself — overcome by a strange mixture of worry about screen-time exposure (the latest science says it’s okay, but science is malleable) and pride at the thought that this baby might have such killer taste innate to his being as to really dig a track like “The Luddite,” which is among the closest points C.O.C. hit on their new record to their classic mid-’90s sound.

Afterwards, I put on Sabbath doing “Children of the Grave” at Cali Jam 1974 and he dug that too. For a couple minutes there, things were looking up in terms of parenting potential. Fortunately, The Patient Mrs. got back before he got too hungry.

Yeah, something like that. C.O.C.‘s No Cross No Crown is out now on Nuclear Blast. Please find the video for “The Luddite” below, followed by the band’s current/ongoing tour dates, courtesy of the PR wire, and enjoy:

Corrosion of Conformity, “The Luddite” official video

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is currently in the midst of a massive North American live takeover supporting Black Label Society. The tour kicked off in Denver, Colorado December 27th and will wind its way through nearly four dozen cities upon its conclusion on February 27th. Additional support is being provided by Eyehategod and Red Fang on select shows. See all confirmed dates below.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY w/ Black Label Society, Eyehategod (12/29 – 1/20; 2/11 – 2/27), Red Fang (1/26 – 2/09):
1/17/2018 House Of Blues – New Orleans, LA ^
1/18/2018 Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN ^
1/19/2018 Bogart’s – Cincinnati, OH ^
1/20/2018 Center Stage – Atlanta, GA ^
1/26/2018 Jannus Live – St. Petersburg, FL *
1/27/2018 House Of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC *
1/28/2018 The Ritz – Raleigh, NC *
1/29/2018 The Fillmore Silver Spring – Silver Spring, MD *
1/31/2018 PlayStation Theater – New York, NY *
2/01/2018 The Palladium – Worcester, MA *
2/02/2018 Aura – Portland, ME *
2/03/2018 Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA *
2/05/2018 Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NY *
2/06/2018 The Goodyear Theater at East End – Akron, OH *
2/07/2018 Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA *
2/08/2018 Eagles Ballroom Club Stage – Milwaukee, WI *
2/09/2018 Myth Live – St. Paul, MN *
2/11/2018 O’Brians Event Centre – Saskatoon, SK ^
2/12/2018 The Ranch Roadhouse – Edmonton, AB ^
2/14/2018 Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC ^
2/16/2018 Bowes Event Center at Revolution Place – Grande Prairie, AB ^
2/17/2018 MacEwan Hall – Calgary, AB ^
2/19/2018 Showbox SoDo – Seattle, W ^
2/20/2018 Roseland Theater – Portland, OR ^
2/21/2018 Ace Of Spades – Sacramento, CA ^
2/23/2018 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV ^
2/24/2018 The Marquee – Tempe, AZ ^
2/25/2018 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM ^
2/27/2018 The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA ^
^ w/ Eyehategod
* w/ Red Fang

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is:
Pepper Keenan – vocals, guitar
Woodroe Weatherman – guitar
Mike Dean – bass, vocals
Reed Mullin – drums, vocals

Corrosion of Conformity website

Corrosion of Conformity on Thee Facebooks

Corrosion of Conformity on Twitter

Nuclear Blast website

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

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Corrosion of Conformity, No Cross No Crown: Casting Stones

Posted in Reviews on January 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

corrosion of conformity no cross no crown

More than 35 years on from their beginning, Raleigh, North Carolina’s Corrosion of Conformity are a band like none other. Affectionately abbreviated as C.O.C., in their long career, they’ve moved from East Coast hardcore punk and thrash to becoming widely influential innovators of Southern metal and heavy rock, releasing generation-defining albums like 1994’s Deliverance (discussed here) and 1996’s Wiseblood (discussed here) after having already made a mark early on with rawer offerings like 1984’s Eye for an Eye debut and the next year’s Animosity.

Since his arrival in the band alongside founders Mike Dean (bass/vocals), Woody Weatherman (guitar/backing vocals) and Reed Mullin (drums/backing vocals) for 1991’s transitional outlier Blind, Pepper Keenan has become a key presence in C.O.C.. He played guitar on Blind and handled vocal duties for the first time on the track “Vote with a Bullet,” but would take the reins as frontman by the time Deliverance came out and see the band through their defining commercial statement and ascent to a point of influence for a generation of heavy rock. Keenan‘s tenure as guitarist/vocalist continued through Wiseblood, the underrated 2000 outing America’s Volume Dealer — often maligned as a cash-grab for its smooth production, but actually some of the tightest songwriting the band has ever done — and 2005’s In the Arms of God before his duties as a member of the Southern heavy supergroup Down took priority.

Dean, Weatherman and Mullin — the last of whom did not play on In the Arms of God — eventually grew restless and pressed on, issuing a self-titled (review here) in 2012 and an also-underrated follow-up, IX (review here), as a three-piece that both found them freer to touch on their punk roots and resulted in a fascinating summation of the band’s tenure as a whole. As Down dwindled, Keenan returned to the fold circa 2014, and the once-again-foursome signed to Nuclear Blast for the release of No Cross No Crown, their first album in this incarnation in some 18 years and a work that many likely doubted would ever come to fruition.

Frankly, that it exists is enough to make it one of 2018’s most pivotal full-lengths. No Cross No Crown is the album for which many C.O.C. fans have clamored for years, written in the studio by the band with longtime producer John Custer at the helm and very, very much aware of what its listenership wants in terms of speaking directly in sound and style to the Deliverance/Wiseblood era of post-Sabbath groovemaking and harsher, Southern-stylized edge. C.O.C. pioneered this aesthetic, and after stepping away from it for more than a decade, songs like “Cast the First Stone,” “Forgive Me,” “Wolf Named Crow” and the six-minute chug-nodder “A Quest to Believe (A Call to the Void)” find it still fits them easily and smoothly.

With a few runthroughs, “The Luddite,” “Cast the First Stone,” the more patiently bluesy “Nothing Left to Say” and the signature boogie “Little Man” feel less like they’re playing to form than rediscovering it, and though No Cross No Crown unquestionably hearkens to the CD era with a bordering-on-unmanageable 15-track/57-minute runtime, a series of interludes in the intro “Novus Deus,” “No Cross,” “Maitre’s Diem,” “Sacred Isolation” and, arguably, the atmospherically-minded four-minute title-track that separates “E.L.M.” and “A Quest to Believe (A Call to the Void)” ensure that the band’s persistent hooks and unflinching craftsmanship boasts due attention-holding variety as well.

corrosion of conformity dean karr

Again, it’s very much a record that knows the stakes and knows the audience to which it is communicating. That comes through in the balance of the production as much as the songwriting, and while in part as a result of the style in which it’s working it doesn’t have the same sense of urgency driving it as did the IX or Corrosion of Conformity LPs issued by the Keenan-less trio version of the band, there’s no question that in performance and chemistry, this group stands apart in their level of execution in a way that makes it extraordinarily difficult to hold knowing what they want to do and who they want to be as a band against them.

No doubt that any outfit with the sheer reach of audience C.O.C. can claim — global, generation-spanning, etc. — will have their backers and their detractors, and certainly much more than when America’s Volume Dealer surfaced, the scope of how the conversation between them has changed. As someone who’s been a fan of the band since Blind, I’ll say the truth of No Cross No Crown ultimately seems to lie somewhere in between.

It is a reunion album. It’s their, “okay, now we’re back together and we need a record” record. By the time they get down to the final movement of “No Cross No Crown,” “A Quest to Believe (A Call to the Void)” and “Son and Daughter,” the pervasive feeling is that statement has been made and they’ve reestablished their footing on the ground that was there waiting for them all these years, but their return to it is still unquestionably one of the most welcome underground heavy events of the decade, and their delivery is simply undeniable.

From “Novus Deus” and “The Luddite” onward, No Cross No Crown is pro-shop through and through, and one can see that even in the structure of the tracklisting, which presents the material in batches of an interlude, two tracks, an interlude, two tracks, interlude, two tracks, etc. throughout. Each section proves that Corrosion of Conformity, even if they’re in the process of shaking the rust off working together creatively, have more to say than one could have reasonably asked or expected, and the album succeeds in its goal of manifesting the spirit and drive of Deliverance and Wiseblood without simply aping a sound more than 20 years gone, as the energy and thrust of “Cast the First Stone” and the swaggering catchiness of “Old Disaster” alike prove.

The prospect of a new C.O.C. record with the KeenanDeanWeatherman and Mullin lineup has been hanging over the head of their many followers since they first got back together to play live several years ago — and truthfully, much longer than that — and if No Cross No Crown did have anything to prove at all, it was that this band could still do this thing. The simple answer is they can, and where 35-plus years from getting started, most artists still active have long since slid into a mediocrity of form in playing to what’s expected of them, C.O.C. here sound reinvigorated and offer a reminder to all willing to hear it of a big part of what made them who they are in the first place. It might need repeat listens to sink in for some, but earns them readily and grows into a richer experience each time through in such a way that to call it anything less than triumphant would be unfair.

Now, will there be another?

Corrosion of Conformity, “Wolf Named Crow” official video

Corrosion of Conformity, “Cast the First Stone”

Corrosion of Conformity website

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Corrosion of Conformity on Twitter

Nuclear Blast website

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

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