Consult Construx #3

1:47:00 PMPaul

This is the third one, right?  This week's cXnX are Ian and Ryan.

Brandon J.
Mayville, NY

"Why is hockey so acclaimed when everyone knows it sucks?"

Ian:  To answer this question, we have to go back to 1998, when Acclaim, famous for their line of well received WWF games, was approached by a masked Canadian, carrying what appeared to be a large, curved wooden pole.  The video game titan was already on the decline, experiencing general criticism, culminating with the pointedly dismissive "Howard and NESter" cartoon wherein, both characters depicted playing Bust-A-Move, NESter turns to his friend and remarks, "Everyone knows it sucks."
That would have been the final nail in the coffin for this struggling company, were it not for the masked Canadian's proposal of issuing a new type of sports game, one never before attempted on American soil.  The premise was simple enough:  10 guys walk onto a sheet of ice and use their poles to knock around a black disk.  Two cyborgs at each end try to grab the disk and lay on top of it...
A cyborg?  Why not?

At this point, Acclaim was willing to try anything to keep their heads above water, even deal with a devilish Canadian (a bit redundant, I guess) and they went to their local pond for a demon-stration.  It was an absolutely disorganized mess!  The guys were falling everywhere, calling their shots, stalling--

Some how convinced by this mysterious masked foreigner, Acclaim went ahead with production on a new game, and a new past-time:  NHL Breakaway.  It sold moderate units and Acclaim was spared the axe once more, but at what cost?  Kids everywhere began fashioning their own poles out of wood, pine, maple, and gourds.  They were utilizing blades to give themselves some extra height and as it turns out, it was all part of the devious Northerner's plan.  Canada, as we know, has been very far behind in the arms race and these curved poles were their first line of defense.  They proliferated the equipment and the ethos to a new generation of Americans, encouraging them to "breakaway" from their sovereign soil and take up the cause of the great white beyond.  They entice them with the rank of captain and encourage a violent lifestyle
What we were promised.

And who was this strange foreign man with the ridiculous accent?  While his identity has never been revealed to satisfaction, many have speculated it is this man, who single handedly wants to destroy youth culture and wage war on America with poorly constructed tools of destruction.

Is this man a violent criminal???

In recent years, we've seen a decline in the intelligence and behavioral mores, and it is likely due to this influence of Canada's war machine in its scope and deviance.  That's why they call em loonies.

American youth on the decline

So, Brandon.  Are you ready to take up arms against these heavily suited soldiers from above?  Will you, yes YOU, answer the call when the snowy menace marches on us, in their crudely fashioned armor and weaponry?

Does this scare you???

Ernie H.
Pittsburgh, PA

"What is your all time favorite album, no throw away tracks?"

Ryan: Thank you for your question, Ernie. This was a very tough question, but I was very excited to try and give it a go. I have many albums that overall I think are very solid. Growing up, it would have been easy. The answer would have been Metallica's …And Justice for All. As I have gotten older, I still have the same love for that album, but would no longer say that it is my favorite of all time.

There are many albums that I considered, and all were different genres. I considered DZK’s “Not your average flow” bootleg, Pantera's “Cowboys from Hell” album all the way to Garth Brooks “No Fences”. Though there were many albums that I felt deserved consideration, I always came back to the same album…

My favorite album of all time is Corrosion of Conformity’s “Deliverance”

Deliverance Album Cover

The album was released in 1994. Up until this point in their career, COC was known for being a “Metalcore” band. Basically, they combined punk music and heavy metal (not to be mistaken with Thrash metal). Unlike previous albums, this was a step in a very different direction for the band. This album is a combination of Southern Rock/Heavy Metal/Hard Rock with a taste of country and a lot of blues licks. All that said, many fans referred to the band as being a “Stoner Band” from this album, and on.

Not only was this album a huge shift in musical direction, but there was a lineup change. This was the first album where Pepper Keenan (also a rhythm guitarist for the “Super group” named Down) sang lead vocals. On the bands previous album (Blind), Pepper was just a guitarist, minus his doing lead vocals on the track “Vote with a Bullet”. The addition of Pepper on vocals totally changed the overall sound of the band, not only musically but also the overall flow of the music. The rest of the line up was the same, with Woody Weatherman on guitars, Reed Mullen on drums and Mike Dean on the bass guitar.

from left to right: Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman, Pepper Keenan and Reed Mullen
I have been a huge fan of the band since I was in grade 9. Not only is Deliverance my favorite album, but they are also my favorite band. So much so that when I was 17, I got this questionable tattoo that was done in a strangers kitchen. Dont judge me... 

This album does not have a single “weak” track on it. From start to finish, this is a Kick Ass album. If you enjoy solid music structure, smooth time transitions and a solid bass and drum line then you may love this album.

Here is a quick breakdown of the Tracks on the album, plus links to where you can hear each song. 

01.  Heaven’s not Overflowing: One of my favorite tracks from the album. High energy, great chorus and a very solid start to the album. Plus Peppers vocals make him sound like a beast! I even stole the track name to name a former band that I was once a part of.

02.   Albatross: This song was one of the singles that were released from this album. Like many songs, this has the same flow as a Black Sabbath song. Very dark guitar riff and lyrics.

03.   Clean my Wounds: Another single from the album. In interviews, the band has reffered to this as their “Thin Lizzy track”. This comment is fair with the flow of the song. The solo of this song was the first lead that I learned on guitar. A very kick ass song

04.   Without Wings: This track is a short instrumental. Mostly just acoustic guitars, this track has a very classical feel to it.

05.   Broken Man: A pretty heavy track. Great riffs, excellent lyrics and very tight tempo changes.

06.   Senor Limpio: Very quick paced song. I love the effect on the vocals and the drums in this track make it for me. Excellent fills and killer lead. Such a dirty sounding solo.

07.  Mano DeMono: Another acoustic instrumental. The flow of this track flows into the following track beautifully. Great production from John Custer.

08.  Seven Days: This track is one of my favorite as far as the guitar riffs and overall flow. Very slow but with a solid crunch sound. I also love the guitar harmonies in the track.

09.   #2121313: Another instrumental. Very trippy guitar sounds and what appears to be a clock ticking towards the track. Sounds great but is tough to explain.

10.   My Grain: A very high energy song. Fast, slow chorus’ and a very awesome bass solo which you don’t hear enough in music.

11.   Deliverance: This track has Mike Dean on lead vocals. Very laid back verse with catchy guitars through the chorus’. Very solid track.

12.   Shake Like You: Another very heavy track. This song is very dark, very heavy and has pretty creepy vocals. One of my favorite tracks off of the album.

13.   Shelter: A acoustic ballad. This song is pretty sad actually. Excellent slide guitar and great lyrics. This track was one of the first ones I heard when looking into the album growing up.

14.   Pearls Before Swine: By far my favorite track off of this album. Built around a fantastic bass lick. Very dark, the verses are whispered and the chorus is very heavy and filled with Pepper screaming like only he can. Great track and ends with a dude digging in dirt while whistling. Great ending to my favorite album of all time.

I have not known another person who would say this is their favorite album. I know many COC fans and most of them prefer different albums, but this is my favorite by far. That is the beauty of music, you can like whatever you want!

Thank you again for your question, I hope you enjoyed reading this and pleas feel free to share more questions. 

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