Wednesday, 11 September 2013

CD Review: America's Volume Dealer, by Corrosion Of Conformity (2000)

The sixth album from Corrosion Of Conformity, America's Volume Dealer finds a tired band struggling to dredge up the enthusiasm necessary to awaken their creative juices.

Too much of the album sounds like material that has gone through the laundry cycle one time too many. The area where light metal meets southern-tinged heavy rock is filled with ripe and squishy fruit, and America's Volume Dealer dangerously skids towards well trodden bayou paths. The delivery is tight and the album production values are high, but the wait between original or exciting ideas is long, and many of the tracks disappear into the forgettable background where overly familiar tunes reside.

As examples of the many frustrations polluting the album, Take What You Want fades away just as it starts to become interesting, while the limp single Congratulations Song is too happy with a repetitive structure as exciting as a bucket of vanilla ice cream left out in the southern sun for a couple of hours. Gittin' It On awfully recreates the worst attitude of talentless 1980s glam rock. Including such a throwaway track on an album is a sad sign of a band that has lost direction.

Within the disappointing meandering, there are some good moments. Album opener Over Me is easily the most inspired metal-leaning selection, dangerous strumming filling the track with muscular intent, Pepper Keenan giving the lyrics his all. On Zippo, Keenan and Woodroe Weatherman trade crunchy riffs and channel Peter Frampton's talk box, while the otherwise ordinary Who's Got The Fire enjoys a terrific solo. And on Sleeping Martyr, the band prove that when they dig deep they can enliven established ideas with a boost of adrenaline, here the power ballad injected with plenty of juice, allowing the soft passages to gain impetus. 13 Angels aims for the same impact but misses the mark and settles for ordinary.

America's Volume Dealer sounds robust, but is also peddling music too close to the bland mainstream.  


Pepper Keenan - Vocals, Guitar
Woodroe Weatherman - Guitar
Mike Dean - Bass
Reed Mullin - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Over Me - 9
2. Congratulations Song - 6
3. Stare Too Long - 7
4. Diablo Blvd. - 7
5. Doublewide - 7
6. Zippo - 8
7. Who's Got The Fire - 8
8. Sleeping Martyr - 9
9. Take What You Want - 7
10. 13 Angels - 7
11. Gittin' It On - 5

Average: 7.27

Produced and Mixed by John Custer.
Engineered by Jonathan Lowry. Mastered by Seva.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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