Conveyor is a band. We know this because their website says so, but frankly, that’s where conventional classification starts and stops. Born in Florida but now residing in the musical hotbed of Brooklyn, these four guys (Timothy John Masters, Evan Michael Garfield, G Alan Busch Jr and Michael Ryan Pedron) are playing with music like no-one else at the moment.
Following last year’s debut EP, the excellent Sun Ray, could have proved tricky for some, but Conveyor more than matches its shorter, elder brother, Interestingly, the band chose to write much of the album whilst recording rather than go in with their songs almost fully formed and ready. It’s an approach that clearly works, allowing them to capture ideas and follow their evolution. The album feels not only organic and cohesive as a result, but alive, tentacles of pop melodies, tribal drums, harmonies and layer upon layer of sumptuous noise creeping out, feeling its way into your soul.
It’s clear that these guys love sound; that might appear to be a flippant comment but it’s a quality that must not be dismissed lightly. Throughout the album, they take and manipulate sound, bending, shaping and twisting it until it feels just right. On first listen it may appear that these sounds are quickly discarded so they may play with another, veering off on a sonic tangent heading for who knows where. Listen again and you’ll not only wonder how they could have gone anywhere else, but you’ll hear the bubbling undercurrent of that which they left behind, echoing through the hills and valleys of this new soundscape. On Conveyor, sound begets sound.
This is perfectly encapsulated within the sublime “Right Sleep”, which itself moves through at least three distinct phases. Seamlessly blending from infectious indie pop to near a capella vocal harmonies and on to a dramatic, vibrating instrumental, all of which is immediately followed by the mariachi-esque “Mom Talk”. Sounds bonkers right? It totally works.
If all that feels a bit too experimental, arty and off-putting for you, fear not. This is not a difficult album to enjoy, far from it, loving Conveyor is easy to do. Choruses are as catchy as a childhood virus and just as difficult to shake; “Short Hair” in particular is immune to vaccination and will live within your head for weeks. As will the aforementioned “Mom Talk”; we never thought we would be singing along with lyrics like “Hey Mom,/Hey Mom/Hey Mom/Hey Mom/Hey Mom/Hey Mom/What do you want to talk about today?” but we do each and every time the album is on.
It would be easy to dismiss these two tracks as being out of keeping with the remainder of the record but in actuality they are very much an extension of this sonic embrace. Throughout Conveyor disparate patterns of sound and light are forged and the vocals are an essential element. Here, you can imagine them around a fire on a beach, singing and entertaining, elsewhere, on “Reach”, “Mukraker” and “All” for example, they are another aspect of the sound, layer upon multi-faceted layer intertwine, pitch and sprawl like a barbershop-quartet on acid.
Conveyor is a bold and confident debut album from a band that isn’t afraid to let the music lead them. The sounds are intricate and complex yet feel so simple and inviting, playful yet intense. It’s quite an achievement from a band so young and one that many other bands would not have had either the inclination or conviction to attempt, but as we know, Conveyor is not like other bands.
Conveyor is out tomorrow (17 July) via Paper Garden records. You can pre-order the album here on clear vinyl, CD or digitally.