Since they formed as a hardcore punk band in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1982, COC have undergone more stylistic overhauls than your average Top Shop front window and had more line-up changes than the England football team.
Fittingly released on their 30th anniversary, their self-titled eighth album – and first in six years – is a return to their roots in every sense.
Featuring the very first line-up of bassist/vocalist Mike Dean, drummer Reed Mullin and linchpin guitarist Woody Weatherman, it’s a whistlestop tour through their own past: Leeches recalls their old thrash-punk beginnings, River Of Stone ladles on the doomy atmospherics, the instrumental El Lamento de las Cabras comes on like Lynyrd Skynyrd munching on burritos.
But there’s enough juice in their engines to ensure it amounts to more than a nostalgia trip, while the absence of the otherwise-engaged Pepper Keenan – frontman during the mid 90s, their most commercially successful period – is barely noticeable.
There’s still plenty of life in this old dog yet.