Live Volume

Corrosion Of Conformity

Sanctuary Records, 2001

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Ah, the live album... and the question that will start more fistfights than one can imagine: Is a live album meant to be a reward for long-time fans or something to get new listeners into the fray?

In the case of Corrosion Of Conformity, the argument could be made for both sides when it comes to their latest release Live Volume. Undoubtedly, there are performances on this disc that will make new listeners want to learn more about Pepper Keenan and crew. Yet there is enough of an air about this disc that suggests first-time listeners to COC will be left a little out in the cold, while the long-time fans will revel in the glory of these 15 songs.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Sounds like a lot of double-talk, you might be thinking. Maybe so. But how does one explain how tracks like "Vote With A Bullet," "King Of The Rotten" and "Congratulations Song" all have an air of familiarity to them, even if you've never heard Corrosion Of Conformity play before? On the opposite side, how can a first-time listener get into songs like "My Grain" and "Clean My Wounds," both of which may seem, to the untrained ear, to stretch out far too long? (The "trained ear," in this case, is the diehard COC fan.)

Live Volume is indeed a paradox, though for the most part it's a very enjoyable one. Keenan and crew dare to suggest they're one of the best-kept secrets in the hardcore scene, and they may well be ready for discovery by the masses without going "mainstream" a la Metallica. Listen to tracks such as "Diablo Blvd." and "Senor Limpio" and try to figure out why these guys haven't become a bigger name like so many bands in metal's heyday did. (Okay, never mind the fact that metal is still not experiencing the rebirth in popularity I've been predicting for the last four years. Fact is, COC still should have been more of a recognizable name, as Live Volume dares to suggest.)

The only complaint I have with this disc is that there are one or two moments of self-indulgence, like the extended drum beat in "My Grain" which doesn't seem like it's ever taken to a higher level musically. But for the most part, Live Volume is a disc which offers listeners both new and experienced an interesting snapshot of a band who could well be on the verge of major recognition. Go ahead and view this particular live album as either a present for the diehards or a tool to bring in new blood. Either way, Live Volume is a better snapshot of the concert experience than many live discs I've heard over the years.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sanctuary Records, and is used for informational purposes only.