Friday, May 22, 2009

The Convocation (of?) on Gravity records

Well I guess they changed their name since last I listened to their self titled first album. No 'of' just The Convocation. My friend Tim gave this to me while I was in an Unwound phase which since hasn't ever really ever ended. It fit in perfectly, a three piece guitar centered post rock.
It's ridiculous to think this was 2001.
I think the thing I still appreciate about this is how minimal it sounds, pretty sparse instrumentation, there's a lot of room to breathe. The starts and stops, I'm going as far to say mathy. Heavy, deliberate, nearly instrumental. The drums are recorded in a huge booming room, you can hear every hit. The bass is a little distorted, it's not precious, just get the notes out. But the vocals really push this into post rock perfection. They're far away from the mic, like unwound, not secondary, but when your pushing melody like this, I guess that comes first. It's almost recorded somewhere else, with no effects whatsoever, just flat yelling, or a backwards there a reverb that has a minus echo? Something like that....making it sound more get closer somehow in that mix. I remember it took some getting used to at first. It wasn't screechy yelling that turned me away from anything remotely emo, to whiny to cry-e. These guys sounded tough, the music came first, bad ass complex intricate rocking, with vocals that weren't trying to emulate emotion but singing through it.
I went to look for it in my itunes playlist, and it was still there...this is after migrating between countless laptops, desktops, external hard drives...there aren't many bands that make the cut of having to dig around to find the CD and rerip it for the thousandth time. Now if I only had this on vinyl....well that would be a find.

With the limited research I did on this single I couldn't find any idea of what this might sound like, but of course I'm in. Gravity has an impressive roster of truly great bands, Unwound included, and I'm willing to see where these guys are at for $5. Just looking over their bands page I'm reminded of a bunch of great stuff I should be listening to still. Clikatat Ikatowi....damn. they even have an oold Black Dice 7" for sale there still. The Convocation myspace weirdly has two kind of remixes of tracks from the self titled....nice to hear but nothing like the originals.

From Gravity records.

Also available from stickfigure distro who says:
*Convocation, the s/t 7” (gravity) - Gravity is proud to announce the release a new 7" from The Convocation. With this new release Baltimore's The Convocation return from an extended hiatus joining new bassist Jason Stevens (formerly of Wash. D.C.'s Wooly Mammoth) with founding members George France and Tonie Joy. A decade ago Joy and France started The Convocation OfÉ with original bassist Guy Blakeslee (now leading The Entrance Band in L.A.) as a natural evolution beyond bands Tonie Joy founded in the previous decade: The seminal D.C. area band Moss Icon and avant hardcore (and earlier Gravity band) Universal Order of Armageddon a.k.a. U.O.A. (as well as The Great Unraveling, both also on Kill Rock Stars), plus bands he served time in (Born Against and Men's Recovery Project). Before dropping the "Of" from their name The Convocation released their debut 12" "remix" e.p. and first full length LP/ CD on Sonny Kay (of The VSS) and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (of The Mars Volta)'s label GSL (Gold Standard Labs), as well as a second LP/ CD on Insound's in-house label Tigerstyle. While The Convocation's sound has loose ties to the hardcore, punk, and "indie rock" of the above mentioned bands it's roots run simultaneously back thru time before these terms were coined and into a future where genres implode to allow this band's heavy psych rock post whatever sound to speak for itself. The Convocation have shared the stage with other heavy acts such as Nebula, Dead Meadow, and Acid Mothers Temple as well as diverse bands such as Blonde Redhead, Unwound, and The Locust. This new 7" was recorded and co-produced by J. Robbins (Against Me!, The Promise Ring, Clutch).

The podcast this week - Episode 54 is a recent interview I did with Craig from Scribbler. We finally hooked up after a bunch of emails back and forth and a weird time difference. (Halifax is one hour ahead?) This is part 1 of another 2 part interview...we talked about their single on Stumparumper records, touring in the US, the noise side of Scribbler, his brothers other band Fuck Montreal and the Radiator family.
A bunch of tracks are played in the background (Aributus, Ocean Floor, Dramamine, Rust, Sine Cosine Destroy and Negative Band) from Scribbler....all available for download at Reverbnation...hundreds...literally. (14.5mb, 16min)

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