Reviews Corrections House Know How To Carry A Whip

Corrections House

Know How To Carry A Whip

It was just a couple of years back when Corrections House were putting out their debut album, Last City Zero. Comprised of veterans in extreme and experimental music, including Scott Kelly, Bruce Lamont, Sanford Parker and Mike IX Williams, the band ventures forth into the realm of electro-industrial, encompassing elements of metal and noise in the way to reaching their dystopian vision. The concepts of Corrections House originate from Parker's loops and beat generation, with Kelly and Lamont adding on the heavy riffs and sax and Williams topping it all off with his sickening concepts. In terms of comparison with their debut album, Know How To Carry A Whip comes across as a more complete record, more well-rounded and cohesive. The structures are more dense, the underlying themes come across in a more striking manner, filled with despair.

The spine of the music is well rooted within the industrial dimension as the manner in which the opening track kicks things off suggests. From that point on it all seems to be a matter of mood on how Corrections House will approach their mechanical concepts. There are times when the track will take a slower, more towering approach, as happens in “Superglued Tooth,” or the whole structure will begin to crumble under the almost out of place tempo switches in “When Push Comes to Shank.” In the same vein, “Hopeless Moronic” starts with completely bizarre and perplexing patterns before finally settling into a solid groove. But there are also the instances when only chaos will prevail, through a relentless assault, as happens with “The Hall of Cost,” seeing the band travelling to their darker side, adding the element of unpredictability to their music.

From there on Corrections House push into two directions. There are instances when the music can take on an even more electronic approach, dwelling into a fucking extreme side of dance music with the electrified vision of “White Man's Gonna Lose” and the final minutes of “Superglued Tooth.” That electronic quality is able to spill into more areas of their music apart from the percussion and rhythm. The sweeping effects in “Hopeless Moronic” come with a strong electronic influence, while the synths of “When Push Comes to Shank” with their sharp, dissonant aura find the band moving further into the exploration of power electronics. But, as strong as the electro vibe is within this album, Corrections House also retain a connection with a tribal element. Despite the mechanical quality of “Crossing My One Good Finger” there is a certain tribal-esque groove that is able to come forth, as is the case with moments of “When Push Comes To Shank.” Even more intense is the case of “Burn The Witness” with the tribal essence rising to the surface, having an absolutely mesmerizing effect, as the band further unfolds the track.

From that point on, on one hand you get Kelly's heavy riffs and on the other Lamont's sax. The riffs are reminiscent of Kelly's main band, Neurosis, to some extent, as they bring that slow doom/post-metal quality in the start of “Superglued Tooth.” From that point on, whenever they make an appearance, they are able to expand the soundscapes and induce the tracks with more weight, as is the case with “Hopeless Moronic” and “Burn The Witness.” The guitars of course do not have a solid presence in terms of their appearance in the album, as they are being morphed through the effects for the duration of the album. Similar is the case with the sax, especially in tracks such as “White Man's Gonna Lose” as it is being twisted, matching perfectly the post-apocalyptic scenery, while still remaining the primary source of melody with its mysterious tone severely distorted. It is also used in order to give more depth to a track, as is the case with “The Hall of Cost,” or further expand the soundscapes, as happens with “Visions Divide.” The before mentioned song is an especially interesting case, as it is built around an acoustic guitar, while the effects and noise keep the background as intense as ever, making it reminiscent of Kelly's early solo works. The sax is brilliant within that structure, while similarly it works marvellously in adding more emotion to a song such as “When Push Comes To Shank.”

The noise and effects manage to mould everything together with their holistic approach. There are cases where the band will take on a minimalistic approach, rendering the scenery quite empty, only to resume with a more punishing offering. Other times the effects keep on the background, adding to the slow pace of a track, causing outbreaks whenever those are necessary, as happens in “Superglued Tooth,” while at other times they will try and drive you insane from the get go, as is the case with the synths in “Hopeless Moronic” and the misanthropic vibe of “The Hall of Cost.” But the greatest achievement is when the noise takes on a liquid form, seemingly switching and evolving, causing more parts to spawn in its presence, a recurrent theme that does not leave the core of Corrections House's structures, as is the case with “I Was Never Good At Meth” and the closing track.

It is amazing how Corrections House are able to move through this album, altering their point of view as they switch through the tracks. From the dystopian essence of “Crossing My One Good Finger,” the unstable quality of “When Push Comes To Shank” and the extreme electro-industrial of “White Man's Gonna Lose” to the pessimistic outlook of “Hopeless Moronic,” the complete change with the acoustic “Visions Divide” and finally the ritualistic “Superglued Tooth” and the tribal “Burn The Witness,” Corrections House surpass themselves. Last City Zero was an album that saw each band member bringing in his own identity and throwing it into the mix. With Know How To Carry A Whip the band is still following that recipe, but the final result is better moulded, more carefully crafted, blurring the identity of each individual within an all-devouring centre.

8.1 / 10Spyros Stasis
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8.1 / 10

8.1 / 10

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Corrections House

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9.0 / 10 Corrections House - Last City Zero album cover

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