Tracks like “Serve or Survive” and “Party Leg and Three Fingers” are almost symphonic in their compositions of clanking industrial noises and screechy sax lines.
Review by David Feltman
With names like Mike IX Williams and Scott Kelly in the lineup you would think some deafening Grade A sludge would be in your future. But, with the combined talents of Yakuza’s Bruce Lamont and Minsk’s Sanford Parker, Corrections House instead delivers an onslaught of high concept industrial music. Last City Zero alternates from minimalistic lines to complex orchestrations, screeched mantras to spoken word prose, loud, quiet, loud. It’s a style that can be awe inspiring for a live performance, but loses something in the recording.
The album is at its best when it goes big. Tracks like “Serve or Survive” and “Party Leg and Three Fingers” are almost symphonic in their compositions of clanking industrial noises and screechy sax lines. Every track, almost every track, establishes a droning theme and repeats ad infinitum, periodically adding to or stripping away various elements. Williams sings, screams and shouts koans and cryptic passages from his book “Cancer as a Social Activity.” The combined effect if hypnotic.
“Bullets and Graves” is the one misfit track, a fleeting two-and-a-half-minute song that sounds like a 90s holdover from Nine Inch Nails back catalogue. With a mere eight songs on the track list, the odd ball “Bullets” disrupts the flow of the album, albeit briefly. But there’s really no reason for the band not to have added “Hoax the System” instead, the song it’s essentially using as a single.
Metal legends like Williams and Kelly are always dividing their time amid gluts of one-offs and short lived side projects, but Corrections House is the sort of band you hope sticks around awhile. Although it pales in comparison to the live experience, Last City Zero is essential listening for extreme music fans.