By Mike Delano
I never understood all of the hate for the Pepper Keenan-fronted C.O.C. years. Deliverance and Wiseblood are straight-up classics in my book, and there’s a lot to love on America’s Volume Dealer and In The Arms of God as well. So now that he’s gone, I guess some subsection of lapsed fans is jumping for joy, since the “old” Corrosion is back. That’s really neither good nor bad, as this self-titled record proves. It’s just different. Gone is Pepper’s trademark voice (bassist/vocalist Mike Dean’s voice in this reconfigured trio is fine, but no replacement), as well as a little of the band’s sense of adventure and willingness to try new sounds. Thankfully, what is here is tight, focused, aggressive, and awesome. “Leeches” barrels ahead like an angrier, dirtier Hellacopters track, and classic stoner jams like “River of Stone” and “The Doom” brilliantly mix metal with Southern rock in that unmistakable C.O.C. way. “What We Become” and “Rat City” find the band channeling their energy more succinctly than they have in years, so it should be a treat to catch them live in 2012 when they take their snarl on the road.