The Convocation Of...
The Convocation Of...
onie Joy. That name spoken aloud brings squeals of delight, groans of distaste, cool indifference, or questioning looks from people. Beginning with his influence on later Born Against songs (making them markedly weirder than their traditional heavy hardcore) and into his later bands, Tonie has been generally strange-- composing guitar riffs that are surprisingly powerful or just plain funny (humorous in a “how could anyone possibly conceive to play that” kind of way). His guitar work is distinct enough to set his bands apart from other hardcore/post-hardcore outfits considered to be contemporaries. The Convocation Of does not differ from this pattern, though they are a slightly less dissonant and more rock influenced than Tonie's previous bands. Joy's past experience in hardcore is still a heavy influence in the band, but The Convocation Of is by no means punk in the traditional sense. They rock too hard for that (*).
The Convocation Of are best known for two things: their live shows and George France's drum work, and where their newest release is far closer to their live experience, this disc seems to be an effort to focus on George. Many would pass his playing off as merely jazz-fusion technique, but it isn’t just the method in which he plays, it is the context. George's drumming without Guy Blakeslee playing equally complicated bass lines and Tonie's meandering guitar riffs and spoken (not sung) vocals would seem a bit dull. Without other competent musicians, any of the three members of The Convocation Of could never attempt to create something similar.
This disc captures The Convocation Of as they were beginning to sort through their back catalog of previous bands and experience in the hardcore "scene"to form something new. While this album was recorded well, little of the band's personality filters through- the disc works more as just a document of their first few songs than an actual release. But, as a debut album, it is still very good, and recommended as a prologue to their newest, Pyramid Technology as well as their live experience.
(*)- Of course punk can rock, though in far different ways than The Convocation Of does. Many punk kids do not enjoy them though, stating that they are too "rock" or "artsy" to really enjoy. But, of course, they are punk in the stalest sense, and probably don’t enjoy Tonie's guitar solos very much.
Reviewed by: Al Charity
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01