Reviews Corrections House Last City Zero

Corrections House

Last City Zero

With an impressive line up including Scott Kelly of Neurosis, Bruce Lamont of Yakuza, Sanford Parker of Minsk and Buried At Sea, and Mike IX Williams of EyeHateGod, the debut album of Corrections House is met with some high expectations. And thankfully the four musicians are able to deliver. 

It is quite intriguing to hear what these guys can bring when you get them to work together in a group. And even though the band has a vibe and sound of its own, it also includes a lot of information from the main projects of the individuals. Kelly’s characteristic guitar work makes you recall the latest works of Neurosis. When the opening track, “Serve or Survive,” comes in you hear the solitary guitar riffs that immediately transfer you to otherworldly planes of existence. His contribution on the vocals is as stunning as always, with the deep, rough voice throwing words of wisdom your way. The more emotional side of his solo project and of  is also present, with “Run Through The Night,” managing to create a captivating moment of pure melancholy and despair.

Of course Williams also has a strong vocal appearance in the album, with his signature cutthroat vocals finding a perfect place to sit amidst the experimental industrial structures of Corrections House. Especially in tracks such as the more aggressive and upbeat “Bullets and Graves,” the guy truly shines. Within an almost punkish outbreak, his voice is signaling for the complete destruction of…well, of everything really. There are though some instances that are quite different to what you would expect. In the last three minutes of “Dirt Poor and Mentally Ill” you get a first glimpse to a spoken word part coming from the vocals. The lyrics of the band are based around Williams book “A Cancerous Social Activity” and they really open up a different dimension for their music. The title track itself is based on William’s spoken part and Kelly’s solitary guitar, with the melody reminiscent to “Figures,” a track from Kelly’s second solo album, The Wake.

The saxophone performance from Bruce Lamont is always present, even within the destructive parts of tracks such as “Party Leg and Three Fingers,” especially around four minutes in the song, the sax sounds completely mad. The range of different ways that he can use the saxophone to create drones or sorrowful melodies, dystopian settings or whatever else comes to his mind is truly inspiring. And when the saxophone is on the spotlight, as is the case in the more moving parts of Last City Zero, it is impossible not to get addicted to its sound. In “Hallows of the Stream,” for instance, the sax is able to create a completely unfriendly and terrifying environment amidst Parker’s sonic carpet and Kelly’s vocal performance. An even more extreme outlook is found in the towering closing track of the album, “Drapes Hung by Jesus” with Lamont giving an unearthly performance about six minutes in the track, definitely one of the highlights of the album. But the absolute moment still would have to be the most expressive track of the album, “Run Through The Night.” With a post-apocalyptic folk atmosphere surrounding its structure, the saxophone is filling the space with its glorious sound. 

And to round things up, Sanford Parker is here to do what he knows how to do best. His ability to use effects and twist them to produce immense soundscapes is truly uncanny. Even in the more emotional moments of the album such as “Run Through The Night” he is still able to create an impressive background, laying down the foundations of the track. Even though that, probably his best moments are found in the more dense and aggressive track of the album. “Party Leg and Three Fingers” sees the imposing soundscapes coming forth to swallow all light out of this world. While in the most industrial moment of the album, “Dirt Poor and Mentally Ill,” you get yet again his insane use of effects, crafting the song carefully not letting anything fall at random. And obviously in “Drapes Hung by Jesus”… well, you will need to hear that for yourself; whatever I write is probably not going to be enough. I would not even know where to start from, the programmed drums, the insane noise, the manic delays, everything has its place in Parker’s vision.

The four members of Corrections House do exactly what you would expect from them. Each musician brings along his own identity and experience, they throw it together in the mix and come up with something extraordinary. 

9.0 / 10Spyros Stasis
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9.0 / 10

9.0 / 10

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