Near Conversion is a three-piece band comprised of Brett Beck (vocals/bass), Blaze Lewis (guitar) and Jonathan Moore (drums). They recently released K(no)w Change which is a six- song EP that brings together spoken poetry and metal/hardcore.
I remember it was 1996 when Linkin Park came out and I was in high school. The lyrics were ultra-serious with no levity and could be most appreciated by someone in their late teens or early twenties. That's the same vibe I was feeling with these songs. At the age when you go through a breakup it feels like the end of the world. Hence these songs will resonate most with people around the legal drinking age or younger.
Things start with “One Step Forward (Know Change).” Right off the bat the music and the way the lyrics are spoken feel melodramatic. A clean guitar is picked while orchestral strings create a lush background. Once the chorus comes the tension is released in typical metal/hardcore fashion. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus and then into an outro. Nothing too out of the ordinary here.
“Barely Beating” further melds the spoken word/metal type singing. The lyrics express his frustration about a relationship. Beck sings, “And if you tear me apart, destroy what I am. / Inside you'll find my fears, that you've been feeding. / Yeah if you tear me apart, destroy what I am. Inside you'll find my heart, barely beating.”
Next up is “Neck Deep” which follows the same formula and also dramatically talks about wounds from a former flame. The music is well delivered and but also follows familiar tropes from the thousands of bands that were influenced from hardcore bands like Linkin Park back in the mid ‘90s.
They close with “Two Steps Back (No Change)” which is arguably the highlight and veers away from being hurt by a former relationship. That being said the lyrics still are reminiscent of the thoughts you might expect from an angst-y teen outcast who writes poetry in a notebook while listening to Nine Inch Nails. He says “And I'm caught in the middle of what I think others think of me and what I think of myself. / and those thoughts burn slowly in my mind like a self-perpetuating hell, / Where I know I have the key, but can't escape this prison cell.”
As long as there are young people there will be a place for this type of music. It's no secret that dealing with your emotions is difficult for anyone but can be extreme when you haven't had much life experience. K(no)w Change contains the sounds and words that can help sooth your soul when you are feeling alone in the world.
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