The word mystery has little to no teeth left in the world of immediacy provided, whether good or bad, by social media outlets. Like most, when I heard the lineup for the “super group” Corrections House, I honestly had no clue what to expect. Call it a lingering feeling between pure fanboy excitement and a sense of the possibility that it could be disastrous. The issue with taking two musical styles and combining them can be tedious enough but four? Surely not. If you’ve read the lineup, you know that Corrections House consists of members Scott Kelly (Neurosis), Mike IX Williams (Eyehategod), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), and Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium). The sheer amount of sound just in the bands represented here by the members themselves speaks to the task these four have in front of them to create something that is as palpable as it challenging.
I deliberately avoided watching any of the live footage for Corrections House, and while I watched the video for their song “Hoax the System,” I purposely detached myself from it in hopes that the live experience would be as visceral as I hoped and imagined. Last night at the Bottletree Cafe, right here in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, every presupposition I had concerning the enigma that is Corrections House was turned on its head in the first few electronic (you read that right) pulses provided by Sanford Parker. Next to take the stage was Bruce Lamont providing an at once improvisational yet wholly structured tone with his baritone saxophone blaring like some brass beast in the final throes of a long fought battle. Scott Kelly followed suit, retching out familiar relentless guitar. working as a descant to the thudding sneer of static noise. The last inmate in the CH asylum to take the stage was Mike IX Wiliams who’s wartorn vocals provided a startlingly apt cog in the devastating clockwork of the sounds being produced by the other members.
To describe the experience of listening to Corrections House is difficult enough. To attempt putting into words the experience of watching these four masters of their craft live is a different animal altogether. And that’s precisely what I had rolling in the back of my mind as I left the venue last night. There was, of course, the glaring eyes for these four big names in metal, but as the set delved deeper and deeper into the innermost recesses of the audience’s psyche, there was a definable moment where at least this observer was no longer watching four separate musicians but rather a singular entity, relentlessly grinding in a tortuous dance between chaos and order. While most may not say it, collaborative efforts are usually given the sort of placatory nod with hopes that the members will simply go back to their original bands and make more of their own music. Make no mistake. Corrections House is not that collaborative effort, and while I love the four band backgrounds comprising this group, I found myself and my mind in an incredibly exciting place of the unknown - just beneath the drone providing a soundtrack to the end of the world.
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- ulyssesshakedown said: But I still love your writing.
- prettyfakes said: Great review, and I was wondering myself how a love show would play out. Also great to see strong music writing coming out of Bama!
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