A while ago, I compared Maps & Atlases to the easy going feeling of Hulk Hogan‘s Thunder in Paradise, a show that homaged a lot of films while still being cheesy fun for kids. It wasn’t art or that well written, but it was enjoyable, goddammit, and filmed in Orlando.
Anyways, Conveyor is not Maps & Atlases although the very good vibe is there, with a gamut of happiness as vibrant as the lovely front cover of their self-titled album (out now on Paper Garden Records). The best way to describe the sounds of this band is a trip to a tropical resort. Imagine it as an all-inclusive one, meaning you will gorge into foods (usually chicken floating in nondescript sauces) and copious amounts of fruit cocktails.
On that note, ‘Woolgatherer’ is a breezy piña colada, never too harsh on the senses, playing with your tastebuds, ‘Mane’ is a leisure boat ride in the nearest mangrove and ‘Short hair’ describes the girl you’ve met. This song, ‘Short hair’, is strangely hypnotic; “mmm, you wore short hair” is repeated like a mantra, with the refrain changing. It’s extremely catchy and loveable.
Alas, all vacations have moments when things go awry. Maybe a stupid monsoon decided to mess with your plans or simply you just had a long day and now you are by the pool, looking at the stars and nursing a Blue Curacao (with extra pineapple – tipping paid off). ‘Reach’ is that moment when you see the magnificent stars and maybe you realise that the biggest treasure of this holiday is this moment of zen. The tribalesque ‘Homes’ (another gem in this album) is the counterpart of ‘Short Hair’. Darker, gloomier, a bit on the introspection side. Never mind the playful birds singing in the back, there is something unsettling (and utterly beautiful) in this track.
No one wants a gloomy Gus and Conveyor knows this. ‘Right sleep’ returns to the vibrant waves, swinging you around like a hammock slowly swaying in the wee hours of the morning (and the birds continue to sing, maybe they’ve had a couple of bloody maries). ‘Mom talk’ is an extremely happy song, even if it feels that the lyrical work is not so fun. Sometimes a talk with mother isn’t good news (especially if your surname is Bates).
For all the crazy tropicalesque tricks, Conveyor sure has more in their arsenal that they want to show. The spacey ending for ‘Anne’ is the best piece of evidence. Not entirely prog but completely experimental, it’s unexpected (like a depth charge in your swimming pool – ooomph!). A shocking ending, but that’s what you get with Conveyor and their lovely music.
Words: Samuel J. Valdés López