November 18, 2012 by Dan Swinhoe
It’s amazing how productive C.O.C have become since trimming down to a three-piece. While they averaged a release every five years under singer/guitarist Pepper Keenan’s stewardship, in the last 12 months the North Carolinian band have unleashed a 7″, a quality self-titled album, rereleased their debut and now a brand spanking new EP, entitled Megalodon.
The EP’s five tracks continue the punk/metal sound of their self-titled effort, but while it flirted with idea of Black Sabbath worship and stoner rock infused with punk, most notably on standout track The Doom, the sludgy riff takes centre-stage. Feed On‘s lumbering riffs open the EP before Woody Weatherman’s bring back some urgency-it’s been a long time since C.O.C. had this kind swampy Sabbath feel to their sound.
The title track and Strong Medicine Too Late are in a similar vein, mixing punk aggression with a raw, groove-laden sound to great effect. Cramming the stoner riffs with southern-fried leads left, right and centre, its heavy yet all incredibly rhythmic and catchy. As controversial as some of the old-skool diehards may find it; on the whole this EP is the best thing C.O.C have ever released as three-piece.
Despite the more lethargic overtone of the EP there are a few punkier moments. Priest Brains burst out with one thrashy riff after another, easily the most high-tempo song on show. Although it doesn’t feel out of place- especially thanks Woody’s brilliant solo- overall this is an EP more likely to please fans of post-Blind Corrosion, as opposed to the hardcore fans of old.
A lot of these tracks wouldn’t be out of place on the bands southern rock opus, 1995’s Wiseblood. And because of that, as good as Mike Dean’s eerie wails are, at times it’s hard not think how Pepper’s smooth vocals would sound on a record tailor-made for his southern-rock sensibilities. But it’s a small point for what is a quality EP- made all the better by the more than reasonable price tag of zero. Hopefully this productivity streak will continue well into the new year.
Download the EP for free from the nice chaps over at Scion A/V now.