The Convocation Of...: "My History Mystery" b/w "Face to Face With the Beast"
Guitarist Tonie Joy has always known how to choke out a seductive, gnarled riff ever since exploring a postpunk musical life after Moss Icon's early-'90s demise. And though it's been a few minutes or years since the last Convocation release, this new 7-inch--recorded last summer in Baltimore with Jay Robbins and released on San Diego's still active bulwark, Gravity Records--shows that no matter how long the hiatus, the Convocation's tightly wound sound, equal parts hardcore needling and heavy-psych fumes, holds up well. This rhythm section--these days co-founding drummer George France and bassist Jason Dale Stevens--likes to find big grooves around Joy's thick riffs and then muscle through them with a lumbering gait, leaving room for Joy's eventual guitar workouts. If you took any one of Wayne Rogers' Twisted Village guitar fireworks bands and slowed the pace down to a hot-knifed hashish burn, you'd get something akin to the Convocation's brain massage.
Side A's "My History Mystery" reminds the mind about the band's big-bore roar, but it's the flip's "Face to Face with the Beast" that really spotlights the Convocation's patient throb. A feedback peal bends into a wah-wahish opening riff that ignites a vibrating wall of a monolithic melody that underscores a defiant response to right now's nightmarish consumer overload: "roadside billboards, high definition/ burned into the submissive retina . . . no more may be seconds away/ right now begins with/ the chance you have to take."