corrosion of conformity

This month's playlist includes new tunes from Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Bill Frisell, John Prine, Corrosion of Conformity, and more.

Formed more than 30 years ago, Corrosion of Conformity is still pushing boundaries with its mix of metal and Southern rock. Left to right: guitarists Pepper Keenan and Woody Weatherman, drummer Reed Mullin, and bassist Mike Dean.
Photo by Dean Karr

It’s been 13 years since the classic lineup of these purveyors of punishing Southern metal released an album, but now the quartet has returned with an ambitious and raw tour de force.

The 1980s saw underground heavy metal claw its way into the American mainstream. And while household names like Metallica and Megadeth were exploding from the West Coast, Corrosion of Conformity (C.O.C.) were distilling their own brand of hardcore punk and metal, shaking the ground in their home state of North Carolina.

Though several singers came and went through the band’s early ranks, it was the core of Woody Weatherman on guitar, Reed Mullin on drums, and Mike Dean on bass that laid the groundwork for what would become one of the most influential hard rock bands of the 1990s. It was groundwork that would catch the ear of their soon-to-be bandmate, Pepper Keenan. “It’s the school Woody created,” admits Keenan in his signature Southern drawl. “I mean, back in the day, when they were doing [1985’s] Animosity, I was way into that.”

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