Sunday, 18 November 2012

Corrosion of Conformity - Megalodon EP (album review)

After releasing one of the best albums of the year in February, the three-piece core member (Woody Weatherman, guitar / Mike Dean, bass / Reed Mullin, drums) line-up of Corrosion of Conformity is back with a new five song EP.  The musical ideas expressed here are right up the alley of the self-titled album from earlier in the year, but this release builds on what was established there adding some different, if familiar, dimensions, featuring more of the classic CoC southern rock guitar sound.

"Feed On" would fit right in on the self-titled album, a slower, doomy number that recalls "River of Stone" or "The Doom".  Halfway through the band turns on a dime and launches into a mid-tempo doom out in the best Black Sabbath tradition.  It's a well constructed song that constantly builds toward the end which sets up the pace for the next track.

"Priest Brains" is a frantic, uptempo, down-tuned song, tensely scratched out minimalistically during the verse part.  The chorus opens things up musically and the band lets the rock hang out with images of dragon's bones and reclaiming thrones.

Title track "Megalodon" is a slow, funky southern rock groove out, recalling Pepper-era CoC, a side of the band that had been largely purged from the self-titled disc.  It's a welcome addition to the band's current repertoire.

"Strong Medicine Too Late" sounds like a real bridge between the album and this EP.  The riff in this one is a hybrid of their southern rock and doom leanings.  The combination is a real winner, playing down-tuned and letting the endings ring out.  The track fades out on a groovy southern guitar solo.

The fifth and final track is "The Vulture".  Like the previous track the band seems to have found a comfortable medium and blends their various influences into a single song and they do it with style and ease.

There are no duds or missteps on this EP, every song is a winner, especially if you liked their last album.  The five songs here continue in the same vein but there are new elements thrown into the mix.  The post-Pepper incarnation of three man core-member CoC sound like they're hitting their stride and having fun. Everybody I have talked to that listened to the self titled album seem to form a unanimous opinion that it's just a solid, solid album.  Megalodon is right up the same alley.  Now that the listener knows what to expect from these guys without Pepper Keenan fronting the band, the trust is there and they do not disappoint.  The southern fried guitar stylings of the last three tracks might just be enough to win back some older fans who were skeptical of the new incarnation of the band and didn't want to give it a try.

It was only two months ago that I caught wind the band was back in the studio and less than a month since this collection was mixed and mastered so you won't get a fresher glimpse of the band than this.  And it's free so there are no excuses not to check it out.  Also, you can grab yourself a physical copy at these upcoming shows*:

12/11/2012 The Biltmore – Vancouver, BC w/ Saviours
12/12/2012 The Crocodile – Seattle, WA w/ YOB, Saviours
12/13/2012 Dante’s – Portland, OR w/ YOB, Saviours
12/14/2012 Oak Street Speakeasy – Eugene, OR w/ YOB, Saviours
12/15/2012 Harlow’s – Sacramento, CA w/ YOB, Saviours
12/16/2012 Uptown Theater – Oakland,CA w/ Saviours
12/18/2012 Catalyst – Santa Cruz,CA w/ High on Fire, Goatwhore, LoPan
12/19/2012 The Brickhouse – San Diego, CA w/High on Fire, Goatwhore, LoPan
12/21/2012 The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA w/ High on Fire, Goatwhore, LoPan

* dates and info lovingly clipped from The Obelisk

Highlights include: "Feed On" and "The Megalodon"

Rating: 4.5/5

From: Raleigh, North Carolina

Genre: Southern Rock, Doom, Stoner, Punk

Reminds me of: CoC ST (2012), Wiseblood (1996)

1). Feed On (4:56)
2). Priest Brains (2:58)
3). The Megalodon (4:03)
4). Strong Medicine Too Late (4:08)
5). The Vulture (2:45)
Total Run Time: 18:49

Release Date: November 13, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: loin cloths and warclubs, chest beating from the mouth of the cave.


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