The English language and the nuances that flow throughout it are mindboggling, so much so, that is tends to be one of the hardest languages to learn. Take for example the word conspire, which if taken for its literal definition, has two vastly different meanings within the context of how the word is used. The more oft used or thought of meaning is in regards to the making of secret plans jointly to commit an unlawful or harmful act. There is a second meaning that is the thought of people working together to bring about a particular result, typically to someone’s detriment. How does this relate to music at all? Floridian natives and melodic hardcore outfit Conspire, who recently signed to InVogue Records have chosen a name that correlates directly to the thought of people working together and while they aren’t to get someone, they are undoubtedly going to put the scene on blast with their phenomenal debut record The Scenic Route.
When Conspire was formally introduced to the music world through their signing announcement, the band opted to share the song “1971” as their lead single and for many, the first taste of what they were capable of. The band created this song with the purpose of learning lessons from humanities low points throughout history and showcasing the potential everyone has to make a positive impact. This same track serves as the opening dish of the brilliant compiled collection of songs that make up the whole of The Scenic Route; songs that take listeners on a true musical journey spanning ideologies and thought processes across decades, truly giving a feeling of empowerment and hope. With such a strong foundation of purpose entrenched into the core of the music, it only makes the songs that much more impactful when the themes mix with the underlying instrumentation, creating lush and atmospheric soundscapes that will stick with people for days. This comes to the forefront on tracks like “Rescind”, “Thousand Oaks” and “Sustain” with their haunting, budding opening atmosphere enhanced by intermixing spoken word, singing and harsh screams into the verses while the choruses linger on in listeners’ heads.
As for the exact sound presented throughout the whole of the record, comparisons will inevitably be drawn to former InVogue Records artist and melodic hardcore mainstays Being As An Ocean. The vocal delivery flows beautifully over the instrumentation, blending harmoniously between the toe-tapping drumming with soft snares, the bouncy and rhythmic basslines that add intensity and calmness at the same time and the melodic guitar chords that wraps everything up within their atmosphere. On the production side, Conspire enlisted the help of Ricky Armellino of This or the Apocalypse who did an outstanding job as the instruments come across crisp and snappy while the vocals are distinct and clear, neither of which overpower the other aspect or the listener. The Scenic Route as a whole presents a mixed bag of rawness, intensity and pure passion as each member of the band gets to show off their hard work and dedication to the craft, making this a true band effort. This method comes through strongest musically and vocally on tracks like “Row” and “Captive Son”, which offer a higher level of energy as the guitars flair, the bass grumbles, the drums kick and the back and forth vocal styles blend beautifully.
Being compared to an extremely beloved and influential band in the scene can either be the biggest boon or the worst detriment to a new, upcoming band as they have to walk the fine line of not coming off as copy cats while remaining true to the sound they want to create and their influences. Conspire have done an impeccable job of striking that perfect balance as The Scenic Route is a musical showcase of both worlds, truly putting themselves and their message at the front and letting the music speak for itself. With its inspirational themes and down to earth, heartfelt approach, this is not only a record that has an unbelievable amount of appeal to fans within the genre, but one that can just as easily draw in the casual music listener – and that is no easy task to accomplish.