Words: Brendan O’Mahony
Pics: © Olga Kuzmenko Photography
Another weekday night in Dublin brings us yet another stellar performance from the legendary Corrosion of Conformity. Tonight sees the first of three shows in Ireland before they head back across the Irish Sea to the UK for a run with Orange Goblin. Corrosion was last here two years ago in the Button Factory but this time they come armed with a new album, No Cross, No Crown, which was released in January this year. Arriving early for a scan of the merch stand, I’m pleasantly surprised to see a healthy number in attendance already, due, in part, to the fact that there are two support bands tonight, Two Tales of Woe from Dublin and Ten Ton Slug from Galway/Sligo, who have both been recent participants in Bloodstock.
Two Tales of Woe, the opening act, are a band in the vein of Crowbar with an emphasis on slow and heavy. Unfortunately, they get the night off to an ominous start as their lead guitarist seems to have issues with his amp. Continuing on valiantly, while another amp is quickly sourced from backstage, the rest of the band seem unfazed. With everything back up and running Two Tales launch into a new track from their upcoming E.P and it sounds promising. Concluding their rather short set with Hell Yeah, Devils Marker also from the new E.P and Misery, the band is definitely worth checking out.
Next up we have Ten Ton Slug. Striding onstage the band kick off with Siege from their E.P Blood and Slime. With a frontman in the mould of Randy Blythe and a sound mixing doom and sludge, the crowd are getting into it and it’s clear these guys have a good following. Matriarch of Slime from the aforementioned E.P is up next and is a belter of a tune. Following on they play a new track from the next planned record along with a track that I honestly missed the title of. Finishing up with Unit, from Brutal Gluttonous Beast, Ten Ton Slug have the crowd properly warmed up for C.O.C.
Having spoken with Woody Weatherman a few weeks ago he had promised that tonight’s headliners would be dusting off a few tracks that they hadn’t played in a while, alongside the classics, and he was true to his word. After the intro of LA Grange from ZZ Top the band appear from the shadows, minus drummer Reed Mullin, who is still recovering from major knee surgery back in March. He has been replaced for the time being with John Green who is a more than adequate replacement. They open the same way they open No Cross, No Crown with the instrumental Novus Deus and the pummelling The Luddite. The band are clearly enjoying it, and so too are the crowd, because, with a fusion of punk, blues and rock C.O.C have always been one of the most interesting bands to watch and listen to. The set that follows touches upon every album Corrosion have made with Pepper Keenan and some great choices are added in, including It Is That Way, Diablo Blvd and Born Again For The Last Time. New songs Forgive Me, inspired by the mighty Thin Lizzy which is given its first live airing, and Wolf Named Crow mesh perfectly with the staples of Vote With A Bullet, Albatross and Clean My Wounds, the latter even incorporates a jazz blues jam and a meander through the venue from Pepper Keenan as they finish off the set.
This is honestly the best that I have witnessed from a Corrosion of Conformity gig and it is always great when a band throws a few surprises into the list. C.O.C, in any incarnation, will always give a great show but the new album seems to have reinvigorated the band and long may it continue.