Corrections House
Know How to Carry a Whip
 The first Corrections House full length didn’t do a lot for me; some of it was “interesting”, but it felt like a lot of disparate elements that each of these well-regarded musicians brought from their regular gigs just didn’t stew into something I really found enjoyable.

So, color me pleasantly surprised. Know How To Carry A Whip is fabulous. This shows correction’s house go from “side project” status to a bona fide band that can stand on it’s own merits. There’s no point in comparing this to Eyehategod, Neurosis, Minsk, or Yakuza, because it sounds unlike any of those bands in any way or form.

Washed away is any remnant residue of the “sludge” genre tag that all of these musicians are generally labeled with, and really was the element that marred the initial Corrections House recordings for me. This isn’t a “doomy, experimental-industrial-ambient with sludgy-stoner-tribal-drone-influences” album. None of the usual buzzwords that these guys get hyped with are applicable here.

Corrections House bypass the methods of execution from their first album nearly entirely. A heavy metal element to the music simply isn’t there. Really, Know How To Carry A Whip is more a kin to 80’s deathrock and industrial. A lot of this stuff could have been off of The Cure‘s Pornography. Or Skinny Puppy’sRemission. Or an album that Ministry put out between Twitch and The Land of Rape and Honey.

Know How To Carry A Whip is just by far a more nuanced album than Last City Zero was. Its’ touch is softer, its’ pallet is more subtle midtones than just all black on red.

The guitar tones are thin and wiry; the drums are distorted and glitchy. The vocals croak and moan, a lot like Christian Death’s Rozz Williams at his vampy best. Very goth/death rock with the song structures. The keyboards just seep through the very fabric of these songs, staining them in purple hues that won’t ever come out.

Elements of dance music are subverted by the heavy elements of Know How To Carry A Whip, or maybe the heavy elements are subverted by the dance music elements. I think it’s probably more of the latter. In fact, I think that is what makes this album so good. I’d even go as far as saying that at it’s very core, Know How To Carry A Whip is a dance album. I think the majority of these songs would have had all the goth bitches shaking their big, black leather mini-skirt and spiderweb-stocking-clad asses out on the dance floor at some industrial club in the early 90s.

I guess the biggest evidence to support my argument is that one of the biggest improvements Corrections House made is the drum programming. Before, they rigidly followed the guitar patterns too closely, and were entirely too mechanical and abrasive. What’s funny is I like rigid, abrasive, and mechanical drum programming; in the right context. But now they glitch, pop, oscillate, and sputter sparks all over the place; creating a core in-the-pocket groove not unlike “trap” drums from a modern hip-hop production.

Know How To Carry A Whip shows pioneers of a genre (that has really become played out to these ears) successfully branching out and doing something truly different from anything they’ve done before. It’s brave in ways I wouldn’t have expected, even for a group of musicians that have already left legacies for being innovators. I cannot recommend this one enough.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Timothy D White
December 2nd, 2015


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