Conduit's Debut 'Life On Repeat' Ticks All The Boxes
With absolutely no idea what to expect when listening to the new mini-album by Coventry melodic-hardcore quartet Conduit, I was thrown into some pretty strong opening words in the form of “Grace is the Answer”. As far as opening tracks go, "Eyes Wide Shut" is a very telling three and a half minutes as it shows a little piece of everything the band has to offer. The emotive opening quickly transitions into a hold-nothing-back rager which already feels like something I’d lose my shit to in the Rock City Basement.
Important to mention sooner than later is the range of vocal work throughout the track and the album as a whole. More impressive than Dave Boyle’s ear-curdling screams is the fact that he actually has a quality singing voice, as he provides some truly moving clean vocals to compliment the darker side of the record. The backing screams are also noteworthy, often acting as a welcome contrast to the music they run alongside, which is interesting in itself. "The Road" is another showcase of this vocal range - a standout feature in this niche sub-genre of hardcore - as well as the gruff growls which accompany a near-silence, a juxtaposition which is as engulfing as it is unique.
The clear common theme of the album revolves around the band’s astounding ability to defy all conventional logic of genre and fuse together the moments of tranquility with raw emotion in a carnal form, creating their very own ambiance. This is most clear in "Pulled From The Water", which combines relaxing, melancholic music with gritty, venomous vocals (almost unimaginably so) and it’s this standout feature that’ll put the band on the map.
That said, they’re clearly capable of writing more “straightforward” tracks to appeal to the many, and "Others" taps into this ability, containing the obligatory ‘accessible’ track with the upbeat and truly infectious chorus, highlighting the melodic side of the band. Again, we have to come back to the vocal work. It’s pretty common to see hardcore bands with average-at-best singers, which is why Dave’s voice is such a recurring theme here, because this album would have significantly less to offer if the lead vocals came from another lacklustre ‘vocalist’.
With 'Life on Repeat', there’s just so much going on. Conduit have managed to pile a massive amount of content into this showstopping debut, but the true test will be whether they’re able to execute it properly in a live setting. While I’d be genuinely surprised to see it, I hope they nail it and make a big, lasting mark on the alternative music scene.
To find out more about Conduit click here.
To visit the Conduit Facebook page click here.
Words by Blaine Marshall