League Of Corruption’s Debut LP Is “Something” Of A Success

Courtesy: Black Doomba Records

When one hears the words League of Corruption, one likely thinks automatically of the people currently running the United States.  In reality, League of Corruption is not that group of individuals, but an independent hard rock band that is releasing its debut album today.  The six-song album, titled Something in the Water, is being released through independent record label Black Doomba Records.  The band’s first official musical outing, it is a work that succeeds in part through its musical arrangements, which will be addressed shortly.  The album’s lyrical themes accompany those arrangements and make the album that much more engaging for audiences.  The record’s production and mixing put the final touch to its presentation.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of Something in the Water.  All things considered, they make this record a debut of which LOC and its fans can all be proud and a solid first offering from the band.

League of Corruption’s debut album Something in the Water is an impressive start from this independent hard rock band.  It is a work that is certain to connect with audiences and keep said listeners engaged and entertained from start to end.  That is due in part to the album’s collective musical arrangements.  The arrangements take the best elements of Crowbar, cross them with elements of Black Label Society and then mix that hybrid with the best elements of bands, such as Down and Corrosion of Conformity to make the album in whole a hard-hitting slab of southern sludge metal.  Ironically, the band is not from the south.  The band calls Vancouver, Canada home.  It’s one more way in which the genre shows its reach.  From one song to the next, audiences can easily pick out the noted influences.  Sometimes they sit alone, such as in ‘Want Me Gone’ and ‘Something in the Water,’ the album’s title track.  Each song shows clearly the comparison to works from Black Label Society.  In other cases, such as ‘Save The Church,’ the record’s opener, and ‘Leave Me Be,’ there is more of a mix of influences.  The Crowbar comparison is the most easily made in these cases, though one can hear hints of Down and Black Label Society.  Ironically, front man Chris Barlow’s vocal delivery style and sound can, in itself, even be compared to that of Crowbar front man Kirk Windstein.  That, coupled with the work of Barlow’s fellow musicians – Brian Langley (guitar, vocals), Paul Trounce (drums), and “Drewski” (bass, vocals) – insures even more, audiences’ engagement and entertainment throughout this 35-minute record.  The attraction of the album’s musical content establishes a strong foundation for the record.  When it is coupled with the album’s lyrical themes, the whole of those elements makes for even more engagement and entertainment for audiences.

The lyrical themes featured within Something in the Water are important to discuss because of their ability to connect with audiences, too.  They approach a wide range of topics.  ‘Not Your Friend,’ for instance, takes on the issue of technology’s impact on the world.  This is hinted at early in the song, in its lead verse as Barlow sings, “Whatever happened to the golden old days/Back before we lost control/Really hope that we can all change our ways/Before we get deeper…/How did we become so dependent/How the hell did we become so blind/I get the feeling that this…will be the downfall of mankind/Slave to technology/Computerized to death.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Can’t you see where this is leading/Can’t you see where this all ends/Industry leaves…/technology is not your friend.”  Now some of the lyrics are a little indecipherable with a lyrics sheet to reference, but enough is understood here to get the song’s clear message.  As the song progresses, Barlow even goes so far as to tell the story of a man in Detroit who lost his job as a result of automation at his workplace.  While the issue of technology’s impact is nothing new to the music industry, it is more often aimed at the impact of social media on the world.  So for Barlow and company to go a different direction and go so far as to point out its impact on the economy is a unique approach to a familiar topic.  It makes the song that much more relatable and in turn important as an example of the importance of the record’s lyrical content.

‘Want Me Gone’ is another example of why the album’s lyrical content is important to its presentation.  This song’s lyrical theme is all too familiar, as it clearly focuses on the aftermath of a broken relationship.  This is inferred right from the record’s lead verse, as Barlow sings, “When we first met, I was thinking/That this love wouldn’t end/But now I know you were faking/All you do is pretend/So I guess it’s come down to this/You want me gone/Have all along/So I’m moving on/Goodbye, so long.”  It’s pretty obvious from this, that yes, this song is about a relationship that went quite sour.  The song’s musical arrangement adds to its overall emotion and helps translate the bitterness left by that breakdown.  As if any doubt was left by the song’s lead verse, the second verse completely eliminates that doubt.  Barlow sings in the song’s second verse, “So now your free ride’s all over/You’re homeless and you are shamed/Self-inflicted, you suffer/No, I won’t take the blame.”  He returns to the chorus from here, reiterating the revelation by the song’s subject that the relationship is over.  The issue of a broken relationship is nothing new here.  It is one of the most commonplace topics for any genre across the musical universe.  Yet the way in which the band has addressed that topic here is unique in its own way.  Coupled with the bitterness in the song’s musical arrangement, it strengthens its case for being another of the album’s most notable songs even more.  It’s just one more way in which the album’s lyrical content proves its importance.  ‘Something in the Water,’ the album’s title track, is one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.

‘Something in the Water’ comes across as a specific social commentary.  This is inferred right from the song’s lead verse, in which Barlow sings, “I tried to figure out the way that you think/What’s going through your mind/Is there a name for what’s wrong with you/Are you the first of your kind?”  He adds in the song’s chorus before moving to the second verse, “There must be something in the water/To make you like you are/You keep this up for much longer/And you’ll have pushed me too far.”  The song’s second verse infers even more the noted topic, as Barlow sings, “Why does it seem so hard for you/To find the second gear/Is working hard and getting dirty/Your people’s biggest fear.”  This verse hits at the song perhaps addressing people who would rather sit and collect government handouts than actually earn a living for themselves.  That is not to say that this interpretation is wholly correct by any means, but it certainly seems to be the case.  If in fact this interpretation is correct, then it is hard-hitting in its own way, because this matter, of those who rely on government handouts instead of working, is very much a hot-button issue.  To that end, this song shows in its own right, to be its own notable addition to the album, looking just at the lyrical content.  Taking this into consideration with the lyrical content featured in ‘Want Me Gone,’ ‘Not Your Friend’ and the album’s other songs, it becomes even more clear why the album’s  lyrical content is just as important to address as the album’s musical content.  While the lyrical and musical content featured in this record goes a long way toward making the album engaging and entertaining for audiences, they are only a portion of what makes the album worth hearing.  Its production and mixing round out its most important elements.

The production and mixing that went into the album’s creation are important to address because in each song, there is a lot going on.  Each song is heavy, loud and very busy in its sledgehammer sludge rock style approach.  The vocals are cutting while the instrumentation comes at audiences with the strength and power of a bulldozer.  So, it would have been easy for each song to get bogged down in itself.  Thankfully that didn’t happen.  Given, there are some points at which the parts do get a little bit lost in each song, but for the most part each song is well-balanced within itself.  The result is a record that works just as well because of its aesthetics as for its content.

League of Corruption’s debut album Something in the Water is a strong start for the band.  It is a record whose musical content will appeal widely to hard rock and metal fans.  Its lyrical content takes familiar topics (and some that are not so commonplace) and gives them unique approaches that make the songs stand out even more.  The record’s production and mixing put the finishing touch to its presentation, making it just as appealing because of the impact on its sound as for its overall content.  Keeping all of this in mind, Something in the Water proves to be something of a successful record.  The album is available now.  More information on the record is available along with all of League of Corruption’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/LeagueofCorruption.

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