27 October 2011


Last year the world was all a buzz about the mighty return of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. The seminal North Carolina band was going to unleash their '80s fury on eager punks everywhere in the form of the lineup that brought us the Animosity LP. Rejoice!! Gone are the wasted 1990s and the groove metal and the (almost) top 40 hits and the revolving door of sterile "musicians" with long hair slogging away on the third tier cock rock touring circuit - C.O.C. are fukkn back!! They booked a west coast tour, and the punks were salivating - we've all seen the videos, and we know the records inside and out - early C.O.C. were the fastest and most sinister thing going. They were from North Carolina (and they looked the part), and the only thing more fierce than Reed behind the kit was Mike motherfukkn Dean with a four string assault weapon strapped to his chest - this band took the BLACK FLAG model, made it faster and re-tooled it for the second coming of hardcore....and they were back. There was a show booked in San Francisco with a ton of bands I was admittedly less interested in, and then I found out that an old friend's band was playing across town - so I skipped the show, convincing myself that it was probably going to suck anyway. It was an easy argument to make; CORROSION OF CONFORMITY had a really killer run, but it lasted only a few years until their first break up, and the two decades that followed are filled with utterly forgettable schlock that a small but determined handful of punks keep trying to make excuses for (no, Deliverance is not "pretty good for a rock record," it totally sucks). 1990s C.O.C. has about as much relevance as COLLECTIVE SOUL, so how could the people responsible for that crap possibly deliver anything other than a novelty punk reunion performance, good only for old timers and ex-punks who haven't seen a hardcore show in years, right? So I was on my way home from my friend's show when I got a message: "Got an extra ticket to the C.O.C. show - it's yours for free if you want it" (thanks, Paul), and in an instant all of my self convincing evaporated - "FUKKN Animosity!!" so I jumped in a cab.

4 track 1985 demo, aka The Good Shit

So what's the moral of the story? If you have seen the supposedly-once-again-awesome CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, then you know that they sucked. Sure, they were technically proficient, but it was sterile and limp. Getting a group of accomplished rock musicians to play hardcore is easy - we punks aren't typically virtuosos. But what I saw was a room full of eager fans trying to get excited while three accomplished rock musicians slogged through songs that they seemingly hadn't given a shit about for 25 years, and it was painful. It was the epitome of "going through the motions," a band who can no longer pull an audience with their commercial music falling back on what little street cred they have left to pry another $25 from the wallets of a handful of dedicated hopefuls. 

I started another cassette blog, the world apparently has more cassettes than Terminal Escape can contain. Escape Is Terminal will exclusively feature live recordings, and will be updated 2-3 times a week. Today's post is a C.O.C. set from Washington  DC, recorded in 1985, when they still had teeth.


E. Warfare-/- said...

Wow, I couldn't agree with you more. I've been seeing these guys since their second show. It's hard to forgive their musical "career" by the time Simon Bob joined and after.They're ok guys and all but it is nowhere what they usta be...like a nuclear blast right in your face, making other bands look like shit. But, I've never been a fan of bands that get back together to play the hits and slide in some new songs that are too similiar to the songs that actual made them popular after the good stuff.

flitox said...

a 4 tracks demo from 1985???????

WTF is that and where the hell is it coming from? i've never heard of that one!!


Scott F said...

yeah i'm REALLY cynical about early 80s hardcore reunions, as bands seem to be coming out of the woodwork to cash in, maybe it's the rough economic times...they certainly would have cashed in on me 10 or 12 years ago, but come on, am I really going to be excited about some old sXe band getting together to rehash their 12-minute set from 1982? I find it hard to even get excited about going to see a band like The Cure who I love and who are still recording (IMO) artistically honest music...do the kids flocking to these HC reunions not have any idea of the cultural context of these bands? they should be going to their local awful-sounding basement shows if they want to be a part of something similar, but i guess hindsight is 20/20...*sigh*

not trying to bash the blogger here for giving COC a chance, I've just grown really frustrated with this overwhelming trend of reunion shows and bands playing their old records front to back or whatever. bands don't do that when the albums are released, so why do it 25 years after the fact?