Best Noise Band - 2006
The American Heritage Dictionary defines "noise" as: "Sound or a sound that is loud, unpleasant, unexpected or undesired." The term "noise band" (though nowhere to be found in the American Heritage Dictionary) carries some of those abrasive connotations, but connoisseurs of the genre posit that these ensembles mold cacophonous tones into transcendent compositions. Most of St. Louis' best-known "noise/experimental" groups play progressive yet palatable songs, with grooves and melodies to guide listeners through their labyrinthine structures. The Conformists, ten-year scene veterans from Belleville, take a more extreme approach. Rather than execute, say, a soft-loud dynamic shift, the quartet alternates lengthy stretches of near silence (no vocals, brushed drums) with full-volume outbursts (shouts, drum rolls, jagged riffs) that seem exponentially louder because of the quiet buildup. Rather than constantly shifting time signatures, the Conformists adopt skipping-record cadences that prove far more jarring. Currently waiting for the release of Three Hundred, its second full-length album, the band has a single gig (November 25 at the Creepy Crawl) on its fall concert calendar.