Album: No Future
Think of the hardest times of your life—chances are you don’t have to think that hard to remember them. What got you through? Was it a loved one? Your favorite album? Maybe you’re just tough as nails and pushed through it without any help—whatever works for you. Personally, it was the figurative “light at the end of the tunnel” for me—the idea that every second I pushed and forced forward was one second I was closer to being in a better place; a brighter future.
So what happens when that’s taken away from you? When that motivation to move towards better days is obliterated? You’re given a bleak, bitter environment without the promise of improvement. You’re thrust into a world of despair, where the emotionally eviscerating and energetically morose sounds of Conveyer are your soundtrack. A reminder of just how poignant melodic hardcore can be, No Future is a marvelous display of moody, magnificent and moving music with an emotionally prevalent and powerful lyrical component to boot.
Instrumentally, No Future is a ruthless and riled-up display of hectic hardcore with moody and mellow melodic touches. Conveyer take crushing and churning percussion—provided by John Gaskill—and spread it out with subtle moments of reprieve that give sparse seconds of respite between fast-paced and punchy portions of songs. This is true from the onset of “Dust,” where, even as the song begins smoothly and softly enough, it quickly morphs into a riotous belter of a track with Gaskill’s hurried percussion leading the helm. This lasts throughout the intense opening moments of “The Whetstone,” where bassist Jake Smith provides a thick and gritty low end that continues to dominate throughout heavier songs like “Disgrace” and “New Low,” where Smith and Gaskill work together in dialectic and devastating harmony, producing a raunchy firmament for guitarists Ty Brooks and Jared Evangelista. Brooks and Evangelista are an excellent remember of the hidden and subtle dynamism present within the melodic hardcore genre—while neither shred and riff abundantly, they create floral and full-bodied soundscapes, especially during more diverse songs like “Dust,” or the titular track, “No Future.” Together, Brooks and Evangelista are energetic and frantic yet still able to slow things down and set a sorrowful mood—and they do so without a hitch, making No Future an engaging and smooth listening experience.
Where No Future truly latches it’s claws into the listener is, truthfully, within the lyrics and vocal effort via frontman Daniel Adams. Adams’ excellent and poetic lyricism takes a framework vaguely reminiscent of Counterparts’ and spices it up with his own feelings and experiences to make Conveyer’s story truly unique. If “Dust” doesn’t tug on the listener’s heartstrings, then “The Whetstone” will damn near pull them out, as Adam’s lyricism is pure and personal, the truest example of emotional torture made public 2017 has seen yet. Where his lyricism on songs like “No Future” and “Parting Words” continues to be excellent, he makes subtle changes to his vocal styles as the album progresses, narrowly avoiding monotony—adding even another dimension to his excellent performance. Adams’ work on No Future is a blissful but bitter compliment to the bold musical mastery from the remainder of the band—aptly allowing Conveyer to convey their message smoothly.
No Future does for melodic hardcore in 2017 what Defeater’s The Red, White and Blues did several years ago—and while it may be less conceptual, it’s certainly just as emotionally relevant. Conveyer craft meaning and mood out of dissonance as if they were trained sonic sculptors, masters of their art. While many people have been making erroneous claims that “deathcore is dying” in recent years, one could make the same argument for melodic and emotional hardcore—which is something Conveyer boldly assert themselves to rectify. No Future is, in short, what one can hope the band’s genre will truly become.
For Fans Of: Defeater, Motives, The Artisian
By: Connor Welsh