Corrosion of Conformity‘s criminally underrated sixth full length, second of the Pepper Keenan era, America’s Volume Dealer, is officially fifteen years old as of last month. I couldn’t rightfully ring the death bell on September without at least a #tbt showcasing one of my longstanding picks off the album, “Diablo Blvd.” This track has a greater focus on groove and a looser feel than Wiseblood or Deliverance but sits comfortably beside anything off of either.
America’s Volume Dealer is a fun listen from start to finish with tracks like the jam band influenced “Stare Too Long” and the knee slapping rocker “Who’s Got the Fire”, pronounced ‘fiyaah’. Overall the album sounds like a band that just wanted to make a hell of a rocker and have a beer swillin’ good time doing it. What’s not to love about that?
Glimpses of earlier works shine through and “Diablo Blvd” is among the best of them here. The lead off vocal lines from Keenan over the chugging riffs from Woody Weatherman recall the first track from Deliverance, “Heaven’s not Overflowing”. Mike Dean’s bass work here borders on funk, carrying a punchy groove while Reed Mullin tears a hole in the drums across the chorus.
The band has always had this sludgy sounding tone and the twin guitar solo at the halfway mark capitalizes on it. The interplay in the bridge around the 2:30 mark, starting quietly and then gradually growing louder, is as mesmerizing as anything they’ve done. Through the final seconds the track fades on a heavy note that reminds me of seeing them in concert when their intensity is at its highest.
If you missed out on “Diablo Blvd” I highly recommend hitting the play button below and finding out what you’ve been missing. Also, they are currently touring with Pepper so catch them if you can.