It’s taken seven years and a few lineup changes, but one of Myrtle Beach’s biggest bands is back this week with a brand new album and the same in-your-face intensity that has wowed local crowds since last century — 1999 to be exact.
Hard rock outfit Confliction is once again ready to “destroy the masses” with it’s blend of forceful guitar riffs, high-energy rhythms and emotive, mild-to-wild vocals provided by longtime frontman Rollin Carver.
The band will take the stage for the first time since September on Friday night as they unveil a new album, “Parade The Serpent” at a CD Release party at Broadway at the Beach’s Revolutions nightclub.
“We’ve not released a record in 7 years and so it’s time to show people what we’ve got again,” said Carver. “I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised with what they hear.”
The show will begin at 9 p.m. and also features local rock acts The IZM and Doctrine of Ethos. It is free to attend for music fans 21 and older, and while admission is $10 for fans ages 18-21 the band wants to make sure their younger fans know they appreciate their support as well.
“We’re giving out vouchers for a free copy of the new CD to anyone 18 or older who pays to get it,” he said.
Myrtle Beach Music: Confliction performs at the Boathouse's Boatin' & Groovin' Fest in August.
A turning point
Since it’s last release, 2005’s “Turning Point,” Confliction has been through plenty of turning points of its own.
After a four year hiatus which saw the departure of original member Chuck Cooper (drums) out of state, the band came back together for a reunion at House of Blues in late 2010. Shortly after a pair of reunion shows, original bassist Billy Raim also left the band to head out of state.
Despite the shakeup, Confliction spent the next year playing a handful of live shows, while focusing on polishing up some older material and writing new stuff — sights set firmly on returning with a new album.
“There was a few songs we’ve wanted to record for years. Some post-’Turning Point’ music that we just never had the money to record, but that are really good songs,” said Carver. “I think fans will enjoy that and the new stuff and I think they’ll be surprised by the maturity of the music on this album.”
Making of ‘Serpent’
Click here to hear the first single "By My Side" in our Featured Listens column.Twelve years after coming together, Carver and crew hit the studio in September to record “Parade The Serpent.”
Through a connection from its longtime sound man Roddy McCarson, the band stumbled upon the Sound Hole studio, a facility run by local producer David Atwater in the lower level of his Socastee home.
“It was a lot of fun working with David,” said Carver. “We never knew he had a studio in town, but the first time we walked in there we thought we were somewhere in L.A. or New York. His studio is incredible.”
Around this same time, the band picked up the final piece of its current lineup, switching out its bassist and adding Joe Meckley (Doctrine of Ethos, Tripod) to the mix.
“I had built a relationship with Joe and knowing that he was one of the most talented musicians around here, I just called him in last-minute and he played bass with us on the record, did a great job and he’ll be playing live with us for awhile as well,” said Carver.
From there, the rest of the band including Carver, Meckley, Tripp Gaddy (guitar), Greg Majewski (guitar), Erin-Anthony Buckley (drums) meshed well together and with Atwater to produce what Carver calls a “really, really cool product.”
“[Atwater] had never worked with heavy music before, which was nice because it meant he didn’t have any pre-conceived notion of what we should sound like,” he said. “We came in and were able to just really focus on making the record we wanted to make.”
Written mostly by Majewski, who put together the music, and Carver, “Serpent” displays much of the band’s trademark angst and anger, while also dealing with more “grown up” themes of remorse, envy and even love.
On “No Regrets,” the 38-year-old frontman gives apologies for the way he was when he was younger. The album’s lead single “By My Side,” is a track about the security of having someone in your life — likely a direct result of Carver’s recent marriage to his wife Kelly in 2011.
“It just came from the place where I am and where I hope other people are — happy with their significant other. It’s just being thankful that you have them and standing your ground and sticking by the person that you’re with,” he said.
Myrtle Beach Music: Celebrity Square's Revolutions nightclub will host Confliction's CD Release party Friday.
In addition to a new found maturity and a new CD, fans who head out to Friday’s release party will also notice a new setting for live rock in Revolutions Night Club.
The Celebrity Square spot, known more for it’s classic and top 40 hits and dancable atmosphere than its live music, became the de facto host of the evening’s festivities after the show’s original venue was sold.
“We were going to do it at Blarney Stone’s because I worked there,” said Carver, who works as bouncer at the club and also as a bail bondsman. “Because they’re closing and getting ready to be a rodeo bar, they weren’t sure if they were going to be open for our show and they didn’t want us to lose it, so they did a special event at Revolutions.”
Blarney Stones Cigar Pub & Bar is tentatively scheduled to be closed on Jan. 16 and to reopen in March as a revamped, remodled, country-themed bar run by current Blarney’s and Revolutions owner Craig Smith as well as a new partner, Mike Rose, owner of The Gold Club chain of gentlemen’s clubs.
“It came about by circumstance, but it worked out great I’d say,” said Carver. “Revolutions is kinda like a mini House of Blues. They’ve got a big stage, the downstairs and the balcony upstairs. It’s going to be a really great show and we’re hoping it does extremely well.”