CD REVIEW: Convalescents - Armageddon
By Cyrus Rhodes - 05/09/2012 - 03:51 PM EDT
Label: Independent Artist
Sounds Like: Weezer, Social Distortion Green Day, The White Stripes
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Lucky, Scratch Scratch, Armageddon
Weakness: Over the Top Vocal Intensity, Repetitive Catalogue, Marketability
Colorado based pop-funk band “Convalescents” releases their latest CD entailed Armageddon in 2012. The band consists of front man Dylan Busby, bassist Eric Lehman and drummer Ben Duncan (who are joined in the current lineup by guitarist Gideon Priegel). CD was produced and engineered by Bill Stevenson, drummer for legendary punk band The Descendents who has also skinned for Black Flag and helmed projects for everyone from fellow punk rockers NOFX to hard rockers Puddle of Mudd.
The CD explodes in your face with “Scratch Scratch” a grinding guitar groove meshed against driving rock rhythm, emotionally charged vocal delivery and well placed harmonies from lead singer Busby and company. Track 2 “Armageddon” serves up another solid low end groove, with melodic musical flow coupled with hooky harmonies and impressive vocal accents from Busby. Track 3 my personal favorite “Lucky” packs a powerful punch with its thought provoking lyrical content, pulsating rock groove meshed with an infectious rock melody that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of Green Day, Weezer, and even Social Distortion and Rancid. Right from the start you will notice Busby and company feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. The overall musical vibe has a nice, raw punk indie feel to it. The guitar playing is rock solid across the board as he dishes out impressive guitar licks, rock solid rhythm guitar playing and a few mesmerizing solos. Busby’s got solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. The musicianship from all the other members in the band has everything you would expect from a standard 4 piece punk-rock band. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. From rocking “Scoundrel” to melodic “She’s a Gun” to thought provoking “Love Pirate” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “Quenn of Misfortune” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
Some of the vocal intensity is a bit over the top. If could say anything to “Convalescents” right now - it would be for Busby to step back from the mic a bit on some of the slower/o parts, find that emotional pocket and ride down the intensity a bit. I really like the voice, the passion and the raw intensity, but Busby comes on way to strong across the board. Overall this catalogue is guilty of being a bit repetitive as well - song for song. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but many of the above issues effect the CD’s overall marketability.
In close Armageddon by “Convalescents”is an action packed production from start to finish. It’s strong suit – its raw feel almost as if you were watching a band play live in the studio. If these guys have a slam dunk live presentation then that would be a deadly combination no doubt. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate and powerful – and will no doubt get your adrenalin pumping. Almost as if you were heading head first into - well the end of the world.
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