Review: COC reissues Eye For An Eye | Music
Music
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review: COC reissues Eye For An Eye

Posted by on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 3:15 PM

coc.jpg

Corrosion of Conformity
Eye For An Eye
(Candlelight)

As Corrosion of Conformity celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, the Raleigh hard-rock institution has invited plenty of opportunity to reflect on its storied and varied career. In January, the band released a new album that linked the urgent rush of their early hardcore punk days with the mid-tempo metal swing of subsequent eras. The dudes then kicked off an active tour schedule, a reminder of their road-dog reputation. Soon, COC will release an EP of new songs called Megalodon, mere weeks after reissuing their 1984 debut, Eye For An Eye.

Nearly three decades after its initial release, Corrosion of Conformity’s first one has mostly been left behind. The album is a product of its era—a solid addition to a collection that already includes Black Flag and Void and a flawed early effort from a band that would later transform into something else entirely. Even the band had more or less consigned Eye For An Eye to obscurity. Nobody was particularly thrilled with the album, a product of an inexperienced band recording in a studio unaccustomed to punk. “I had basically written this off as being our sloppy beginner’s effort but listening to it now, I really hear a few songs that hold up well,” bassist Mike Dean said in a press release for this reissue.

True enough, the album begins and ends with the sound of warped tape spooling through the reels. Opening track “Tell Me” ends, and then reprises itself abruptly. A clip of somebody asking “Is this for real?” introduces “Minds Are Controlled,” while “Nothing’s Gonna Change” fades out with unintelligible voices in the background.

Eric Eycke, who sang on the album, told me in February that he was never happy with it, citing inexperience and poor communication among band members. “But it is what it is,” he said. “If you like it, you like it.”

People did like it: After its initial release on the local No Core label, Eye For An Eye was reissued by Caroline Records, building enough of an audience to support COC’s ascent to the Metal Blade imprint Death. The record doesn’t, by many accounts, capture COC at its most ferocious, but it still garnered a cult following that preserves the punk-metal schism among the band’s fans.

In hindsight, though, COC was never a particularly orthodox hardcore band, something which Eye For An Eye confirms anew. Stripped-down and speed crazy ragers like “Rabid Dogs” complement songs like “Rednekkk” and “Coexist,” which are more flexible with tempo and betray the band’s riff-rock influences. The winding intro of “Coexist” and boogie-rock bridge could have been reinterpreted for an album like Blind or Deliverance. And in the album closing cover of Fleetwood Mac’s (or, more closely, Judas Priest’s) “Green Manalishi,” COC abandons the winking judgment that accompanied punk covers like Minor Threat’s “Stepping Stone” or the Dead Kennedys’ “Viva Las Vegas.” Instead, COC turns the song toward the type of churning, mid-tempo metal that would bring the band mainstream acclaim in the 1990s.

Even as it functions as a document of the hardcore era, Eye For An Eye also betrays Corrosion of Conformity’s ambition. Its flaws are minor and endearing enough to maintain punk’s affair with amateurism, but they also belie the growing genre-crossing ambitions in the band’s arrangements.

Not long after Eye For An Eye’s release, COC split with Eycke (not amicably) and continued in the trio formation responsible for the more tightly composed and more finely produced Animosity, and in which the band finds itself again today. During that era, COC re-recorded six Eye For An Eye cuts with Dean on vocals for the practically titled Six Songs With Mike Singing EP, which was later appended to CD pressings of Eye For An Eye.

For years, Eye For An Eye and Six Songs With Mike Singing have been out of print, except on bootlegs. This reissue, which rescues both from rarity, doesn’t add new material, but it arrives at a time that welcomes new insight and perspective into COC. It stands as a crucial step in the evolution of a still-dynamic band.

Tags: , ,

Pin It

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

I'm so happy to see this collaboration, and this affordable way to attend both!

by Ruby Sinreich on Moogfest Announces Joint Pass with Art of Cool for 2017 Festivals (Music)

Though I know it isn't Redhat's fault she was late, I do think they could have handled the situation better. …

by mandeelion on Hopscotch, Night Two: Timing Tangles Erykah Badu and Young Thug (Music)

Most amazing times Catching you with old friends in Grayton Beach ...Kyle , Bouder ...and our dear lost love Kenny... …

by Milissa Hargrave Schang on Old Dog, New Grass: A Q-and-A with Mandolin Monarch Sam Bush (Music)

Would not miss this show at Ardmore Music Hall or any opportunity to catch Sam Bush ! So grateful he …

by Milissa Hargrave Schang on Old Dog, New Grass: A Q-and-A with Mandolin Monarch Sam Bush (Music)

Comments

I'm so happy to see this collaboration, and this affordable way to attend both!

by Ruby Sinreich on Moogfest Announces Joint Pass with Art of Cool for 2017 Festivals (Music)

Though I know it isn't Redhat's fault she was late, I do think they could have handled the situation better. …

by mandeelion on Hopscotch, Night Two: Timing Tangles Erykah Badu and Young Thug (Music)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation