Don’t miss Conduits opening on Friday
blog by Ben Kirst • March 28, 2012 @ 9:42am
The Omaha, Neb.power-shoegaze sextet Conduits is in a somewhat unenviable position. Yes, the band is currently on tour with fellow Nebraskans Cursive and Joseph D’Agostino’s chord-shredding trio Cymbals Eat Guitars, a pair of known and respected entities that ensure each performance will draw a nice crowd. The downside, of course, is that many in the audience will pay their admission to see the near-legendary cult favorites—Cursive—or Cymbals Eat Guitars, the buzz band of the relatively recent past.
A piece of advice—get to the show early. Fronted by former Son, Ambulance lead singer Jenna Morrison and fueled by J.J. Idt and Nate Mickish’s shimmering layers of distorted guitar, Conduits may offer one of the more sonically intriguing indie rock performances that Buffalo will see this spring.
The band is described as “...aiming for soundscapes that embraced drones, psychedelia, and a fervent rhythmic punch. And the more they played the more they heard a female voice filling in the empty spaces in these songs.” All of which sounds outstanding when packed into a small club with large amplifiers, yes?
Conduits formed three years ago when a group of musically talented friends realized that they were all in the same situation—itching for not just a band, but the right kind of band, to play in.
“When I met JJ in 2009, before we could even develop a friendship, I was already nudging him to work with me on music,” Morrison told AbsolutePunk.net in February. “I had had a few projects under my hat that never had seemed to get off the ground, for various reasons, and I was really ready to put something a little more serious and substantial together. At the same time, JJ and Nate had been talking for over a year about starting something up, specifically with female vocals in mind. Needless to say, we were soon in a basement together, hashing things out. JJ had been in Eagle Seagull with (bassist) Mike (Overfield), previously, and Mike was fairly quickly inducted in…
“A few weeks later, (drummer) Roger (Lewis) asked me to come out for a drink, and I confided in him that we had put together a band and some songs, and that all we still needed was a drummer. I didn’t really expect him to jump on it as fast as he did (although I was hoping that he would). I kind of expected him to be like ‘Hmmm, that’s nice… So anyway…’ He truly was a perfect fit. Half way through nailing the second song, he jumped up and said ‘So, can I play with you guys, or what?’ It was a no brainer. (Keyboardist) Patrick (Newbery) joined right around the time we were recording the album.”
That album—a self-titled effort available through the uber-hip New Paltz label Team Love—includes eight tracks of dark, atmospheric guitar rock that twists precariously around Morrison’s haunting voice.
“Whether they’re rocking out or grooving on a chill beat,” Hear Nebraska exclaimed, “they always sound like they’re on a windswept stage in the desert at dusk, blasting away while the sun descends behind the band, bathing them in the reddish glow akin to a Martian sunset.”