Live Review: Corrections House, Bottletree Birmingham, AL

This isn’t a concert so much as a religious experience.


Review by David Feltman

Three word Corrections House review: “Slow as fuck.”
Two word Corrections House review: “Infinite Crescendo.”
One word Corrections House Review: “Cleansing.”

There was no opening act. An opening act would have been like running a Bugs Bunny cartoon before “Citizen Kane.” This won’t be a typical review either. It wasn’t intentional and I didn’t have my camera. But I need to share this experience with others.

When you hear names like Neurosis and Eyehategod tossed around for a super group, you expect some sludge. But Corrections House takes “sludge” to performance art levels. The first song is thirty minutes long if it’s a minute. Samples are looped as each band member takes the stage in increments that extend beyond measure, slowly adding to a wall of sound that becomes overwhelming. When Bruce Lamont of Yakuza pulls out his baritone saxophone, it’s surprising but somewhat expected. When Mike Williams starts reading spoken word poetry, the audience starts murmuring. The phrase “trippy as fuck” is heard more than once.

The music starts to cut clean, no distortion. Melodic vocals from Lamont and Neurosis’ Scott Kelly blend in as Williams ceases his reading and steps to the back of the stage. The song(s) sustain and stretch for what may be two, three, or just one song. In total, there couldn’t have been more than five songs played the entire show.

The general cleanliness and utter snail pacing of the show is off putting, but an over-arching rhythm begins to emerge. As if establishing a trance or casting a spell, the audience is slowly pulled into the band’s sway. Then the pace quickens…ever so gradually.

This isn’t a concert so much as a religious experience.

Like blood pulsing faster and faster, the songs’ tempos quicken. The show establishes a sweet spot and shifts into cruise control. Williams’ vocals turn to methodical screeches and Lamont begins crumpling paper into the microphone in perfect rhythm. The waves of sound crash against guts and groin. It is transcendent. And then it’s over.

There’s no album available yet, but Lamont promises a seven-inch is well on the way. But no recording can capture this experience. If ever there was a band to see live, Corrections House is it. What they offer isn’t so much a concert as a moment in time. You must not miss this show.

Comments are closed.