I like things that are a little worn. Big reason I like to shop at used clothing stores is not because it's hip to do it, but because the clothes are already broken in. The aged, beaten aesthetic of it is also pleasing, but the fact that I don't have to sit uncomfortably with a pair of pants for weeks until they feel right is a huge plus. This preference really carries into a lot of things, including music. While music isn't 'torn' or 'beaten', the production value could be described as such, signifying a bands work is poorly produced. I often like this, and feel it enhanced my perception of The Conquers album, Demo EP.
These guys play a very rag-tag version of ska-punk, but it's so rag-tag it's endearing. I don't think these guys take longer than 15 minutes to make a song, and why should they? Both genres are about having fun, and there's no fun to be had in trying to make an epic punk song. Yes, I stated the production value bit in the opening paragraph because their album is under-produced. Levels are off, the vocals get way too loud and it sounds like the drums are made out of cardboard. But those are all good things really.
"It's My Job To Keep Ska-Punk Elite" really stays true to their 'ska-punk' definition, delivering a solid number that'll make you skank, then turn around and punch a dude in the face (You know, if you're into that type of thing). What really let me down with this tune though is that there aren't any others like it on this EP. Sure, it's good to broaden your horizons, but when this sound is the exact definition of what you claim to be, but you don't have any other examples like it on your album, it's a bit of a misrepresentation. Only the song "Awkward" delivers on this promise as well, but it's really more a ska tune than a ska-punk tune.
Let down aside, these guys still manage to produce some solid punk tracks, like "I Promise" and "Third Wheel". They have an early Saves The Day vibe to them, and before you go making snarky comments about Saves The Day, check out their early work, you'd swear it wasn't them. Anyways, The Conquers clearly have a fixation towards upbeat pop-punk , and that enables them to do a lot here. For the most part, ska-punk can get boring if not done properly, so it's nice they're angling for some different styles as well.
The Demo EP, while sounding like it was made with a $5 microphone (Been there before), at least enables these guys to show their potential. I really wound up digging a few tracks pretty hard, and it's clear they really just want to have some fun while making pop-punk songs, with occasional ska riffs thrown in. It might feel a little worn, but it fits like a glove - Shane