Meet Con Trails, a Rock Duo With a Raw Shoegaze Bent

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Mabel Suen
Con Trails is Kevin Guszkowski and Luke Sapa.
In this weekly column, RFT Music gets to know local creatives, musicians and their missions. Get a slice of the local scene, complete with a snippet of sound and info about upcoming releases and shows. Stick around to see what St. Louis artists have to say whenever they Fill in the Blank.

The term "shoegaze" typically manifests through its wearers in the form of a semi-detached disposition and row after row of effects pedals, but such is not the case with Con Trails. While the power duo's sound fits the introspective alt-rock profile, the live delivery comes off as fierce rather than lax and depends on a single tube amp for its warm, warbling reverb.

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Courtesy of Con Trails
Inspired by early '90s alternative as well as contemporaries including WEED and Moldboy, Con Trails -- or "con trails," as the duo prefers -- carefully manipulates time and wide open space to create its own ode to the genre, complete with characteristic moody crooning from singer/guitarist Kevin Gurszkowski. Sounds of languidly bent guitar strings lead way for subtle dynamic shifts amid drummer Luke Sapa's succinct rhythmic hits, personifying impressionistic lyrics about transformation and reflection.

Guszkowski and Sapa became good friends while studying at Saint Louis University, and in the spring of 2013, started their band in a south-city apartment. Con Trails currently has three digital demos self-recorded with a single mic available online. One of its songs also appears on the local label Eat Tapes' recently released Meat Bundle #1 compilation. Check out Con Trail's latest tracks, under the heading Tunnel Prey, below.

We invited the members of Con Trails to fill in the blanks ahead of a show at Cafe Ventana this Saturday. See what they had to say on the next page.

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