Monday, November 18, 2013

Corrections House: Last City Zero (2013)

Flawed Premise

Corrections House is another one of those bands that you could label a supergroup. As far as the underground, anyway, it doesn’t get much more super than a band featuring Scott Kelly, Sanford Parker, Bruce Lamont, and Mike IX Williams.

But I’ll cut to the chase. The way they set out to be different is by taking on an industrial side. It’s very much a counter-intuitive combination. Sludge works best when completely organic and analog, while industrial (as the name suggests) is mechanical. The rhythms and percussion are mechanical (they are programmed), while the guitars are organic, and it makes for a weird juxtaposition. Godflesh was going the same thing over 20 years ago, but it’s still weird.

And maybe this doesn’t mean a lot to you, considering that I seem to be the only one who doesn’t like Godflesh, but there’s a reason nobody else has attempted that combination in twenty years. Nobody worth talking about, anyway. I also realize I spoke well of the band's debut 7", but a 7" is hardly long enough for a flaw like that to become quite so annoying.

Despite my attack at their very core idea, I admit that they have accomplished it about as well as could be hoped. The heavy, warm guitars crushing and crunching, the bleak outlook, and machine cadence evoke the future scenes from the Terminator movies. At its best, the droning repetition calls up Neurosis and Bloodiest. But it would have been a hell of a lot better with a real drummer.

So, let’s give Corrections House a to-do list. One, get a drummer. Two, stop with the heavy-handed yet weak, surface-level social consciousness (the title track). I really like what this band promises, but they have not quite delivered.

The Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Oh man "heavy-handed yet weak, surface-level social consciousness" is the best articulation I've heard of what so many bands do to irritate me with their lyrics. Good call on this one though, weird mix for sure.