Dave “D” Bellevue, one of the two vocalists in Oxymorrons (with two Rs so they didn’t have to hand over $25k to some band no-ones ever heard of) is a chatty chap. He’s a qualified lawyer, we learn. His brother Ashmy “KI” Bellevue is an advertising whizz and guitarist Jafe Paulino is a musical director.
Maybe that’s not what you expected from punk rappers from NYC, but their brilliant “Melanin Punk” album is not what you’d imagine either.
As D points out, they don’t sound like anyone else, “Graveyard Words” is lyrically brutal, “Head For The Hills” is a glorious thing and the stuff they play that wasn’t on the album, like “Pretty People” and “Django” are proof that they’ve always had a rawness all of their own.
After the former of those D says that everyone should have the right to make the choices they want, and he’s right too, that there is way more that unites us than divides us. As they prove by being on this stage in the first place, never mind going down so well.
But when you strip it all away, Oxymorrons have some marvellous songs. “Look Alive” their current single is their favourite apparently, but “Justice” and the others are proof that if you have no interest in fitting in anywhere, you can play anywhere
Oxymorrons are one of the finest punk bands around right now, but in becoming just that they are breaking all the rules- which is punk rock in itself, right?
“Enjoy the show…..”
As Corey Taylor gets ready to play here, “The Box” – the lead track from his “CMFT 2” record, and those three words are repeated twice.
As it happens the last time, drummer Dustin Lee Roberts starts up “Post Traumatic Blues” and when that’s done, “Tumult”, one of a smattering of Slipknot tunes and, quite frankly, what happens for the next 80 minutes rather defies explanation.
This Corey Taylor show is best described as a Tsunami, whether you like it or not, you aren’t outrunning it and it will envelop you.
“CMFT” is represented by “Black Eyes Blue” and there’s a clutch of “…..2” tunes, “We Are The Rest” is the first, and it’s impossible not to to enjoy.
But the best thing about Corey Taylor is quite simple: however much fun you’re having he’s right there alongside you, enjoying it just as much.
His command of the audience is incredible, he’s the Ringmaster and he’s in charge, and when he plays “Song #3” from Stone Sour, or a sensational “Before I Forget” the reaction is one that you seldom witness – and if you didn’t think Spongebob Squarepants was metal, then Corey is here to assuage you of that idea.
That rather odd interlude over, its back to the classics, both old and new, “30-30-150” is just that, while “Talk Sick” the new album’s standout moment, is arguably the best song of the year.
Taylor loves being on stage generally, but specifically, he loves his “Morning Dudes” (who include Christian Martucci of Stone Sour and ex-Black Star Riders) and they laugh with each other frequently. Even more clearly, he loves being on “My Island” as he puts it and his adoration of England goes two ways.
“Midnight” a broody thing from the last album acts as a prelude to one of the finest songs ever made, in “Through Glass” and once you’ve played that, your encore had best be good.
As it happens, he’s sticking fingers into his eyes to stop the ache as Wolves goes all kinds of mad for “Duality”, while playing Black Sabbath this close to Birmingham would be brave, if he wasn’t as big a star as he is.
Corey Taylor is as good as it gets, he’s a fantastic solo artist, Slipknot are good, and Stone Sour, great but somehow, on stage here, Taylor makes them all unstoppable.
Enjoy the show. It’s not an order but you can’t fall to.