CONFORMISTS, THE: Three Hundred: CD

For once it seems as though all the “sounds like” listed in the biography are right on the nose: Don Caballero, Unsane, US Maple, Slint, and the Jesus Lizard. Yup, they’re all here. The Conformists are hardly what their name suggests, which is surely another shot of irony to the rock and roll world. There are lots of solid ideas here, many of which never seem to go anywhere. For example, once you can get past the stupid opening of the track “Black People”, the latter part of the song totally kicks ass. It’s got an intense forward march approach with the guitars, sounding like they came out of the Steve Albini school of rockin’ (hey, whaddya know! Albini recorded the album!) with vocals that bellow anger and chaos and the inability to break free. On “Meredith Knezvitch”, the opening line “You’re the big man now” had me waiting for one more word (dog) in the hopes that it was a tribute to one of Sean Connery’s finest works, “Finding Forester”. But alas, it never came. Instead, the band continued to pound out haphazard beats, wild vocals, subtle basslines and off the wall guitar chords. There’s something going on here; something I really like but there’s also something else keeping me from totally getting into this. I like me some math rock, but this is like drunk math rock on cocaine. Strangely enough, I think I mean that as a compliment.

 –kurt (54 40 or Fight!)