Personally I’ve never been good at writing about myself or my problems, much less speaking about them in public or even in private to someone I feel close to. I’ve found though it may not be the healthiest choice out there, it certainly works for me, and as they say if it ain’t broke, etc. I do however find a real delight in listening to other people drone on about their problems, whether in public or private. On one level I want to be helpful if I can but on another deeper and perhaps more dickish level I’m fascinated by what a sad soul (even more so one plied by alcohol) will tell you about themselves.
I began thinking about this while listening to Jacksonville, Florida’s Conjure. The four songs on the five piece emo-rockers self-titled debut are emotionally wrought. The band described Conjure as a “four part story of loss of hope; the realization of the cyclical nightmare we sometimes live in and the journey through the dark to separate one's self from the things that are keeping us down and holding us back.” When you tone down the diction, what one realizes is this album was made as a means to cope with problems that many people go through in life.
Conjure opens with the gritty rocker “Going Home.” It follows the emo-rock form, slow builds which turn into confessional choruses swollen with multiple guitar tracks that slow down and speed up as though on command. These big swells of guitar show up again on “Ghost” a painfully introspective tune which bears the aching lines “My memory loves you/It asks about you all the time.” Loss is a common theme on Conjure “Now I'm doomed to waste away/Nothing makes you stay,” is sung in a saddened haze, in stark contrast to the earlier screamed lyrics “Tell me a story/The one about him and you/And even though you write home, there's still room to choose,” on the gloomy “Uninvited.”
After a few spins of Conjure I began to realize the disconnect I was having with the record. It is the same thing I have when I’m watching a movie which doesn’t completely convince me. Had it been real life sure I may have felt something, but something in my brain reminds me it’s just a movie, just actors pretending to feel emotions.
For me the emotive sentiments Conjure are trying to convey simply didn’t convince me on the record. Though I imagined myself thick in the midst of an angry and sweaty crowd, with Conjure onstage shredding and pounding their way through their set, seeing and feeling the raw emotion I couldn’t extract through a pair of speakers, and then I started to believe.
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