New Music

“Midwestless” – St. Louis experimental rockers THE CONFORMISTS premiere their 5th album

3 mins read
The Conformists

Scheduled for an April 5th, 2024 release via one of the most creative underground labels out there, Computer Students™, The Conformists are ready to introduce “Midwestless” to the world, marking a significant chapter in the band’s story.

Known for their unique approach to rock, which they themselves have playfully dubbed as emanating from “rock failures,” the band has evolved from their 1996 origins in the juxtaposition of cornfields and strip malls of Southern Illinois to a mature sound that blends moments of beauty and melody with their foundational rawness.

Recording once again with Steve Albini, whom the band refers to affectionately as Al Beanie, at the iconic Electrical Audio, “Midwestless” is notably their first recorded output as a trio—a format they briefly experimented with in a self-recorded track for a 2021 benefit compilation.

Despite their humorous self-deprecation, The Conformists have carved out a niche for themselves with their willingness to explore the dichotomies of sound, from the abrasive to the harmonious.

“Midwestless” will be available in both standard and deluxe LP editions, as well as digitally.

The Conformists

The album promises to be a deep dive into the band’s psyche, recorded with Albini’s meticulous ear and featuring a mix of insistent repetition and moments of surprising melody. With tracks that span a range of emotions and sonic landscapes, “Midwestless” invites listeners into a detailed, immersive world that showcases The Conformists at their most dynamic and introspective yet.

The Conformists

Behind the scenes of “Midwestless” are stories that reflect the band’s journey and creative process—a journey to Spain that inspired “Song for Rincón Pío Sound,” adventures in Europe that led to “Psh Psh,” and the challenges and triumphs of recording complex tracks like “Wrong Off” and “Mr. Biron.”

The Conformists

These anecdotes, combined with the band’s experiences recording in near solitude and their candid interactions with Albini, paint a vivid picture of an album born from dedication, a sense of humor, and a deep connection to music’s power to convey intricate narratives and emotions.

Here’s the full track by track commentary by the band:

Song for Rincón Pío Sound

This song was named in on honor of the music venue Rincon Pio Sound in Don Benito, Spain. A place we had the pleasure of playing while touring with our fiends Decurs in 2018. This is the first song we completed for this record which made it easy to track. Chris Dee played Steve’s Veleno guitar for the squealing feedback at the end. It’s the same one Cobain recorded Very Ape with for In Utero. Magical.

Psh Psh

The name of this song also has its origins in touring Europe. This time in France, where we had the chance to encounter an unusual fellow with a unique tattoo and life philosophy. It’s the only instrumental on the record. The only trouble we had tracking here was that Steve refused to use “studio gimmicks” like fade outs, so we had to do it live.

The Conformists

Wrong Off

Undoubtedly the hardest song to record. This one has so many twists and turns there were too many places to get lost or tripped up. We even scrapped an entire vocal section because we felt it wasn’t up to standards. But we got it, and if you come to a live show you can hear the vocals that got cut.

The Conformists

Mr. Biron

This one took a few tries to get right but I think we laid it down in less than 3 takes. We also had to make Steve erase some unintended mouth sounds from the recording, they sounded kinda silly. We work fast in the studio because we can’t afford to take our time! We tend to go into the studio well rehearsed and don’t require many takes to get a good one. We also don’t do many overdubs. This album only has one guitar overdub and the vocals were done separately.

5 Year Napsence

We seemingly always wrote one long ass song for every record. And it’s the one you always worry the most about recording because if you mess up, you have to start all over again. The funny thing is we usually get it first try, as was the case this time. This song certainly has its potential pitfalls as well.

The Conformists upcoming shows

All EU dates are with Spanish band Tiznao.

April 5 — St. Louis, MO — Sinkhole (Release party)
April 28 — Benicarló, ES — Plug In The Gear
April 29 — Marseille, FR — L’Embobineuse
April 30 — Billom, FR — La Perm
May 1 — Zurich, CH — TBA
May 2 — České Budějovice, CZ — TBA
May 3 — Prague, CZ — Café Potrvá or Eternia
May 4 — Olomouc, CZ — Mini SF
May 5 — Wrocław, PL — Uczulenie
May 6 — Leipzig, DE — Hitness Club
May 7 — Marburg, DE — Kafe Trauma
May 8 — Mouscron, BE — La Faune
May 9 — Paris, FR — Le Cirque Électrique
May 10 — TBA
May 11 — Barcelona, ES — Kasal de Roquetes

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