Live Review: Corrosion Of Conformity, Lo!, Whisky Smile - Factory Theatre

4 August 2014 | 4:34 pm | Mark Hebblewhite

"Corrosion Of Conformity was nothing more than a pleasant distraction"

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Western Sydney locals Whisky Smile sounded like a looser and punkier Orange Goblin as they blasted through tracks from their highly regarded debut, The Eagle Has Landed. With tracks like Ernie Dingo’s Got My Baby there was nothing too cerebral on offer, but it was still a lot of fun.

It’s been a while since The Music has witnessed Sydney noise terrorists Lo! in their natural habitat and within minutes it was clear that this was an act that has gone from strength to strength. Oscillating between breakneck hardcore and bowel-loosening dirges the quartet were frighteningly precise with frontman Sam Dillion spending as much time in front of the barrier with a crazed look in his eyes as he did behind it. This was a very impressive outing from a cutting-edge outfit.

Corrosion Of Conformity has always been an odd proposition as the band has lurched between different and somewhat contradictory styles over its long tenure. The trio wasn’t the tightest unit on the planet (although, somewhat ironically, replacement drummer Eric Hernandez was by far the most precise musician on stage) – proving that the boys were determined to retain the punk rock outlook of their early days. This said they did bring a definite Southern swagger to the smaller confines of The Factory’s downstairs space and jammed out as if their lives depended on it. The huge grin permanently plastered on guitarist’s Woody’s mug summed up the band’s attitude, although the equally strained look on Mike Dean’s face was reflected in his somewhat limited vocals. The trio played a setlist that represented every stage of their career and there’s no doubt the COC faithful were lapping up every note with wild abandon. Mere enthusiasm however doesn’t conquer all and overall this wasn’t a gig to convert the curious or the casual fan; it was one for the true believers who had waited far too long to see their heroes. For the rest of us Corrosion Of Conformity was nothing more than a pleasant distraction.