America’s Volume Dealer

Although Raleigh, North Carolina-based punk-turned-metal band Corrosion Of Conformity (C.O.C.) is from the South, the band has never sounded more like a traditional Southern rock band (à la Lynyrd Skynyrd) than on this new album. As opposed to their classic, pioneering punk albums from the ‘80s (‘83’s Eye for an Eye, ‘or ‘87’s Technocracy) or stellar metal releases (‘91’s Blind or ‘97’s Wiseblood), AVD sees C.O.C. relying more on catchy hooks, Southern rock-style ballads and rock-oriented blues numbers rather than intensely grinding, uptempo and ultra-heavy riffing. There is also an overall emphasis on songwriting."We just see this as an evolution of our music," says original lead guitarist Woodroe Weatherman. "We still make the music that we like. Like we always do." The result produces a few sappy rock ballads ("Sleeping Martyr" and "Stare Too Long") and a handful of semi-heavy, potential radio hits. Songs like "Congratulations Song," "Diablo Blvd" or "Who’s Got the Fire" will do well on the radio but might not please the old-school C.O.C. fan. Then again, if you get a chance to see the band live, all of these numbers take on a much heavier veneer.