Review Summary: A humble beginning for Corrosion of Conformity, but one that essentially follows in the footsteps of the band's peers.
Corrosion of Conformity are better known for albums such as the career-defining Deliverance
or more recent In the arms of God
, but the band's musical output to begin with in the mid 80s was very different. Although CoC had only recorded two albums which relied entirely on a well-balanced mix of hardcore punk and crossover thrash in the same vein as Suicidal Tendencies or Lawnmower Deth, the band came across as a confident group of youths who simply wanted to thrash out with a rebellious, mischievous attitude, just like their peers.
Essentially the band's debut, Eye for an eye
, is made up of two types of songs. One type, which utilizes better song-writing, tenser intros and longer durations, and the other, which merely consists of short, snappy numbers having more in common with Dead Kennedys than anything else. That said, it's really the longer songs here that save the album from coming across as an absolute mess. Opener (Interestingly the longest song of the album too) “Tell me”, after a minute or so of slow, built up guitar rhythms, explodes into a multitude of fast, chaotic noises, and naturally sets the pace for the rest of the album to follow. However, there is a pattern which the band stuck to for their first album in particular. This basically consists of one longer song followed by three or four considerably shorter tracks, and unfortunately this is where the album seems to fail the most. With songs as consistent and impressive as “L.S.” and “Coexist”, the sound doesn't seem too bad, but nearly every track which lasts just over a minute or less isn't even executed that well, instrumentally or vocally.
Musically, there's nothing much to note given that you should know what to expect from a genre as simplistic and straightforward as hardcore punk. That said, the guitar work is the focal instrument of the entire album, and very rarely does it let the bass or drums have room to breathe. The big problem is that too many songs, especially the shorter ones, come across as rushed and simply rely on recycled riffs or rhythms. Nevertheless, there are some memorable moments throughout, as in the mid-section of “Dark thoughts” and the almost Sabbathian intro of “College town”, and the vicious vocal attack of Eric Eycke largely helps songs such as “What"” and questionable Fleetwood Mac cover "Green Manalishi” to be that much more interesting.
So Eye for an eye
in all honesty is only for those looking to complete their beloved CoC album collections, because even when compared to the likes of Suicidal Tendencies self-titled album or Bedtime for Democracy
, Corrosion of Conformity's debut album is simply very weak and plagued by filler material. Naturally, it's good for what it is, and those who love the crossover thrash or hardcore punk genres will naturally find something to like here, but when looking at the band's career as a whole, Eye for an eye
marks a humble beginning.