30 Reviews in 30 Days: #15
Corrosion of Conformity Deliverance
Columbia, 27 September 1994. John Custer, producer.
I had the pleasure of seeing COC back in my Wichita daze in 1994 (could have been 1995) when they toured in support of this album. I only managed to get Woody Weatherman’s (guitar) signature on the liner notes after the show at the Rock Island. Always have dug COC after I heard them the first time. They are in a stoner groove type of hard rock, heavy metal, with Lynyrd Skynyrd influence rife in the riffage. A lot of their songs could be considered radio friendly, with minor editing for the uptight parents/FCC.
1. Heaven’s Not Overflowing – A strong track for the opening song.
2. Albatross – One of the singles off the album. Pepper Keenan’s chops are soulfully on display in this track.
3. Clean my Wounds – If the last track was just a single, this track is the definitive hit that is still played on hard rock and classic rock radio on a steady rotation. The lyrics speak to a universal plea for forgiveness to either a higher power or fellow (wo)mankind. I may be a self-professed atheist and certainly in the agnostic category when this song came out, but the line, “Help me Jesus, help me clean my wounds. He said I cannot heal that kind.” Powerful stuff that spoke to me and I still find myself singing the chorus at the top of my lungs with the stereo cranked as high as it will go when it comes on.
4. Without Wings – Begins with an acoustic guitar with the quality and still you would find in the finished Spanish flamenco players, but at a mellower speed. The song is an instrumental, a quiet lullaby that begs meditation or even snuggling with the one you are begging forgiveness from per the prior song.
5. Broken Man – We reenter the crunch zone with a heavy, drop D groove, that invites undulation of the body.
6. Senor Limpio – ZZ Top style simple blues backbeat.
7. Mano de Mono – Again, we have the display of the guitar picking, clean and stark in the intro with a underlay of a keyboard that evokes a sad or reflective TV movie scene. We shift to electric, and this instrumental serves as a bridge into the next track.
8. Seven Days – A sound similar to “Albatross” and “Clean my Wounds” with a rolling riffage and Pepper’s beautiful voice.
9. #2121313 – Another instrumental tracking only 1:02 that could easily be used in a movie, but not really mellow, but more doom and gloom.
10. My Grain – But then we get into a more upbeat driving down the backroads, drunk, with the wind in your hair type of song. Screechy on the lyrics, but the delivery fits.
11. Deliverance – A swipe at where the thought process in America was headed. No deliverance for the stupid. Gotta love the lyrics in the title track. Skynyrd/ZZ Top feel with the bluesy groove and riffs. My only beef with this track is the ending – it just stops cold. Hmm. Perhaps that’s on purpose given the content of the lyrics?
12. Shake Like You – This is the starkest, most blunt transition between tracks as we move from the abrupt ending of “Deliverance” to this song. There is a lot of vocal effects on this track.
13. Shelter – But we move back to clean lyrics with this acoustic outing. The slide guitar gives it a cross over ability to country rock.
14. Pearls before Swine – We end the album with another plea for forgiveness that begins with acoustically, but builds to a nice crescendo as we move through the lyrical content.
Listening notes: Sony Vaio laptop at work with Dragon 180W speakers running out the headphone jack. Though, through the years, I’ve listened to this album at varous times and states of inebriation. It shall remain on a rotation pile.