Thursday 9 January 2014

Corrections House - Last City Zero (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 29/10/2013
Label : Neurot Recordings

Last City Zero, album tracklisting :

1). Serve or Survive 08:14
2). Bullets and Graves 02:40
3). Party Leg and Three Fingers 07:07
4). Run Through The Night 04:03
5). Dirt Poor and The Mentally Ill 06:06
6). Hallow of the Steam 04:03
7). Last City Zero 05:06
8). Drapes Hung By Jesus 09:41

The Band :

Mike IX Williams
Scott Kelly
Bruce Lamont
Sanford Parker

Review :

I think that it's fairly safe to assume that you know all the players involved here. That isn't at all lazy journalism (well, it might be), just my way of not insulting the collective intelligence of you fine people. If you're here and you're reading this, or even if you're a regular visitor to this den of iniquity that masquerades as a blog, then you'll no doubt know who Corrections House are. But what you won't be receiving when you listen to 'Last City Zero' if you haven't heard any of their output to date is what you think you're going to hear.
No sir. Not at all.

I was lucky enough to hear the 'Hoax The System' release, and I read Markwell's review last year. What that EP managed to do was completely blow my expectations of what the band would sound like clean out of the water. And this debut full length is even further removed from what I expected initially. They could have easily traded on all of our expectations and just recorded the heaviest fucking thing ever, but I now believe that even in its infancy that was probably never the game plan for the band.

What you do get is mental. It's some sort of crazy Mike IX beat poetry, laced with Kelly's ability to exude sheer mood and atmosphere, dumped into a blender with some early Ministry electronics and industrialism. I hear no EHG, but I do feel its spirit moving through the room. I've given up trying to pigeonhole Neurosis, but I can detect some of their primal energy. This is an altogether new beast, and with every new listen it will peel itself like some kind of onion doing a striptease. Yeah, you read that correctly.

The whole thing is just one wild ride. 'Bullets And Graves' is some sort of punk metal industrial mongrel, which wouldn't be out of place on a 74th Crow sequel soundtrack. This album is probably even darker than you thought it was going to be and it doesn't have to be mind numbingly heavy to achieve this, as it manages to prove. My favourite cut is the acoustic guitar driven tones of the Springsteen-ish titled 'Run Through the Night'. Is that sax in the background? Its brass of some kind, and it absolutely works. It conjures images of lovers escaping the humdrum across a desert in the American southwest. Absolutely beautiful, and Kelly sounds like he's paying homage to Nick Cave. And then it envelopes itself in some sort of white-noise drenched, subdued black metal riffing. Does that sound immense? You bet your ass it does.

'Dirt Poor And Mentally Ill' shows the electronic aspect on top form, and Mike Williams at the top of his game. The main beat sounds huge, and the primary riff isn't overwhelming at all. Just the right amount of fuzz and mystery involved. All the evidence suggests that this was meant to be recorded as an album and not just a collection of songs. Great minds came together and concocted this.

Honestly, 'Last City Zero' is amazing. If ever a lesson existed to not judge something with any kind of pre-conceived notions, then this is it. This album, as I stated earlier, will not be what you expect it to be. From personal experience, it far exceeds any expectations.

Words by : Matt Fitton

You can buy it here

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