Live Review: Corrosion of Conformity – Wolverhampton

Live Review: Corrosion of Conformity – KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
3rd May 2023
Support: Plainride, The Black Hounds
Words: Cat Finch
Photos: Tim Finch

We at The Razor’s Edge seem to spend our life at KK’s Steel Mill in Wolverhampton. And rightly so, not only does it serve cheap beer (for a concert venue) but they have all the best tours stop off at the place these days, and of course we are proud venue sponsors. This evening it’s the turn of the legendary Corrosion of Conformity to take to the hallowed stage, the Raleigh, NC based band who have gone from hardcore punk, to crossover thrash to sludge to southern rock and back again over the course of an impressive forty year career.

Opening up the evening are local heroes The Black Hounds, a band who haven’t crossed our path since November 2019, thanks to COVID, so it’s great to see how they have developed during the course of the pandemic.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

They are a tighter nit unit now, more slick and refined, but they still have that raw feel to them as they kick the evening off. Raucous guitars bring a bombastic sound to the room, filling it with riff after riff of wonderous delights. They are a well-rounded entity, their sound thunderous which envelopes the audience and makes them part of the show.

At time of typing they are still contenders for M2TM Birmingham and a spot at Bloodstock, so head down to Devil’s Dog in Digbeth for the final and show them some support!

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Up next are Plainride, a German stoner rock trio who meld many influences into an encapsulating sound. Kicking off with ‘S.O.T.U.’ you immediately get drawn in, their performance unique, their sound mesmerising and if you close you eyes, you can hear Neil Fallon ring through the vocals.

For forty five minutes the band enthral and entertain in equal measure, confident on stage they make the most of getting to know this hardened Black Country rabble that stand before them. To win the assembled masses over is a tough ask, but Plainride do it with ease.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Soon it is time for tonights main event, and with an hour and a half to play with, Corrosion of Conformity get straight to business. The trio of ‘Bottom Feeder’, 'Paranoid Opioid’ and ‘Shake Like You’ kick things off as the band dip into three different era’s of their back catalogue.

The set focuses on older material and completely misses out their latest, critically acclaimed album. But despite the omission the setlist can only leave the older fans of the band happy focusing in the main on Blind, Deliverance, Wiseblood and Americas Volume Dealer.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

Its a heavy set, dark and menacing tones emanate from the guitars of Woody Weatherman and Pepper Keenan as the vocal girth springs forth.

As the set moves on the pace increases, the angst driven 'Vote With A Bullet' a classic hit that gets the blood, fists and heads pumping. 'Albatross' similarly a fan favourite continues as time is running low. Pepper looks at his watch and declares "We've got time for one more". It is none other than 'Clean My Wounds', a song that helped break them through to the wider British metal consciousness during their performance at Donington in 1995.

As great as the setlist was, there was something lacking in the sound tonight, it wasn’t quite Corrosion of Conformity at their very best. I will forever love Pepper, Woody, Mike, Reed, et al. but alas I have seen them on better form.

Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography
Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography
Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography
Photo Credit: Tim Finch Photography

All photo credits: Tim Finch Photography

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