An unearthed treasure: Righteous Fool.
I don’t usually do this, but here is the entire synopsis from the label that tells the story of this record. It is done so well that this is the best way to catch you up.
Born in 2009 on the impulse of the late Reed Mullin (Corrosion Of Conformity) and guitarist Jason Browning, Raleigh-based rockers RIGHTEOUS FOOL came fully into being when the gang of two invited Mullin’s long-time bandmate Mike Dean (also Corrosion Of Conformity) to play bass. North Carolina legends CoC were on hiatus, and bassist Mike Dean had fallen out of touch with co-founding drummer Mullin until, after nine years, Mullin pulled into Dean’s driveway and asked if he wanted to start a new band.
RIGHTEOUS FOOL demoed and released the two-track 7-inch in 2010 via Southern Lord, and quickly hopped on support tours for Clutch, Weedeater and, later on, Corrosion Of Conformity. The eponymous “Righteous Fool” full-length was recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 in California, during the same sessions that produced CoC’s self-titled 2012 reunion LP, but was never released.
Now, in the wake of Reed Mullin passing in 2020, the remaining members decided to bring the album to light, showcasing a lava hot infusion of hard rock, heavy blues, stoner and punk, oozing soul, fury and fire from every note.
It goes without saying that Corrosion of Conformity fans probably have a leg up on liking this album. You can hear it in there for sure, but this music is different. There is more heavy blues in my ears, and the changes and shifts to me often sound more syncopated. The musicians are definitely on a tear here, channeling something special.
Every track is a treasure, and I am not saying that lightly. “Forever Flames” had me hitting repeat the most, but I have also listened to this album straight through several times on my recent cross-country jaunt and it held up state after state.
I have a special affection for the Judas Priest version of the Peter Green song “The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Prong Crown)” and there is a killer rendition of tune on this album. I don’t think this song has been appreciated enough, and here we have a new opportunity to breathe in the bluesy, psychedelic wonder of it all. “When the day goes to sleep and the full moon looks / the night is so black the darkness cooks.” O yeah.
And then there is “Heavy Is The Head” and “Edict Of Worms.” And sure, all the rest of them, too. This album is a ravager. Damn. Highly recommended.
Righteous Fool is out now through Ripple Music. Pick it up at the label’s website, Bandcamp, or any other elsewhere.
Ripple Music, https://www.ripple-music.com/
© Wayne Edwards