Friday, December 4, 2015

Corrosion of Conformity at the Gramercy Theatre

Pepper Keenan
In 1982 in Raleigh, North Carolina, guitarist Woody Weatherman, vocalist/bassist Mike Dean, and drummer Reed Mullin formed Corrosion of Conformity (also known as C.O.C.) as a hardcore punk band. Many musicians came and went (Weatherman has been the only consistent member), but perhaps the best-known line-up consisted of the three original member plus vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan, who served the band from 1989 to 2006. By this time, Corrosion of Conformity had evolved into a heavy metal band. Corrosion of Conformity was on hiatus from 2006 to 2010, while Pepper recorded and toured with his hometown band, Down. Dean returned in 1993, Mullin rejoined in 2010 when Weatherman began reforming the band, and Keenan reunited the classic personnel in 2014. Corrosion of Conformity's ninth and most recent studio album, IX, was released on July 1, 2014.

At the Gramercy Theatre tonight, signs of Corrosion of Conformity's punk roots were nonexistent. To call Corrosion of Conformity a metal band was also a bit of a stretch, although closer thanks to the music's loud and powerful thrust. Tonight's performance was more a kin to old school hard rock, with most songs being mid-tempo brooders, with only a sliver of thrash or speed metal  sneaking in for spice. The 14 songs were all from the band's most successful period, in which Keenan was a member, and introduced no new songs or even songs from recent albums. Keenan's gritty vocals along with raging guitar leads from Keenan and Weatherman gave new life to the 10- to 25-year-old songs. The Deliverance Revival Tour marked the resurgence of vintage COC; now the public only needs new music.

Visit Corrosion of Conformity at www.coc.com.