Album: Corporate Sting
Blurb: Picking up where the band’s debut left off, this duo featuring two staples of the Chicago industrial/rock scene is as lyrically irreverent and as sonically malignant as ever, with no signs of slowing down!
In less than two years, the duo of Chris Connelly and Jason Novak – collectively known as Cocksure – has risen through the ranks of the underground music scene, drawing on their illustrious histories – and indeed, that of the scene as a whole – to create a sound that has captivated many in search of the spiritual succession of the bygone days of the WaxTrax! era. Focusing on the raw elements of rhythm and bass, with a fair helping of the noisier aspects of heavy electronic and industrial, and topped off by Connelly’s acerbic voice and raunchy lyrics, Cocksure’s music has been a rallying cry for those yearning for the freely gritty and experimental yet stylish sound of the ‘90s, filtered through modern production and technology. After two EPs, the full-length TVMALSV debut, and numerous performances around the U.S., with plans to appear at ColdWaves IV and InFest, it seems as though nothing can stop Cocksure… and the band aims to carry this momentum forward as proven by this second album, Corporate Sting.
Kicking into high gear right from the get-go, “Porno Drones” hits hard and fast with caustic bass, rapid-fire beats and vocals, evoking a vibe akin to ‘90s hip-hop, albeit without the superficiality and plenty more distortion. Between this and the following track, “Severance Package,” with its reiterations of the album title in the chorus, Corporate Sting seems to take a much more focused stab at rampant corporatism and materialism, the latter song’s strutting and strident beat amid waves of slithery synths and call-and-response verses immediately sets it as one of the album’s highest marks. As on the previous album, the use of samples as textural and rhythmic devices is immediately identifiable, particularly in a track like “O.C.D. Got Game!,” the grating and overdriven bass noise meshing well with the stuttering gated beats and electronic stabs almost bearing a semblance to a brass section like one might hear in a song like Front 242’s “Quite Unusual,” and the metallic loops that underscore “Mighty Mouse” lend to the song’s tribal cadence, its tempo more ominous in its slower pace, though not lacking in Connelly’s lyrical wit as he mimics a glitchy repetition at the tail end of each stanza of the chorus. As on TVMALSV, there is a juxtaposition of faster paced songs like “Razor Invader” and “Cold Dick” with their penetrating breakbeats and menacing bass and lyric hooks with the slower, more haunting atmosphere of a track like “Kollider Scope,” its shrieking pads and crumbling percussive squelches making for one of the album’s more dissonant moments. Also airing on the slower side of things is a rather brilliant cover of Severed Head’s EBM classic “Harold and Cindy Hospital,” the instantly recognizable bass line given that Cocksure touch with liberal amounts of distorted touchups, the ascending melodic second half taking the lush beauty of the original into a strangely gothic territory with a shrill tone that takes a moment to get used to, but plays well with Connelly’s vocal treatments. “Hi Talez” ends the album with an almost cinematic flair as feedback and slow pumping beats build to a crescendo of thrashing rhythms that never lets up until the end, Connelly’s lyrics of overindulgence in sex, alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes topped off by shouts of “¡Arriba!” recalling the more irreverent moments of Revolting Cocks.
Corporate Sting picks up right where TVMALSV left off, full of self-referential and irascible humor that pays homage to its influences as much as it pokes fun at… everything else. Traces of Acumen Nation and Revolting Cocks are simply unavoidable given Novak’s and Connelly’s histories, but on this album, the collective sound has been strengthened to give Cocksure an even more individual flavor to allow the band to stand on its own with each progressive release. Playing by no rules but their own, Corporate Sting is no sophomore slump and shows that as far as what Cocksure has to offer, this is only the beginning.
Website, Facebook, Bandcamp
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp
Website, MySpace, Facebook
Storming the Base CD
Storming the Base Vinyl
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)