The Ongoing Concept


Written by: LF on 01/08/2014 18:38:29

"Saloon" is an album that I stumbled across in the autumn of 2013, and I've been meaning to review it since my very first listen because it instantly struck a chord with me and more people simply deserve to know of the crazy Idaho-band that is The Ongoing Concept. The band consists of the three brothers Dawson, Kyle and Parker Scholz on vocals/guitar, keys and drums respectively, plus their childhood friend TJ Nichols on bass. "Saloon" is their debut and as the title indicates, there's a Western theme that runs through the album.

The music is built around a framework of really groovy southern rock and hardcore, but the entire record is so ferocious that it constantly sounds like it's bursting at the seams as it barely manages to stay together. The way this band succeeds in seamlessly mixing immense grooves, catchy scatting and playful banjo riffing into the mostly frenzied music is a sheer joy to experience and I can assure you that it doesn't get less impressive or less addictive with time.

In some ways the most insane thing about this record is not the blend of styles itself, but how structured it is and how well it flows when the chaos is obviously lurking right beneath the surface at every moment. And even though this is the dominant impression I get from the record, the band also finds time and inspiration to include a couple of more emotional and calm songs, the most extreme of which is "Sidelines", showing us that they will write exactly whatever kind of songs they want without necessarily trying to fit however loosely to a certain genre paradigm. It contrasts almost violently with the songs surrounding it as it is dominated by a pretty corny piano that fills it with a huge amount of pathos, not least when this is built up further with violins for the last minute or so, only to be ripped right apart by one of the best tracks of the album, "Failures & Fakes". The ending song "Goodbye, so Long My Love" even includes this immense contrast in itself, transitioning midways from extreme, screamed dissonance to soaring, clean female vocals that fade out as the record ends.

The songs are of a high quality across the entire album, and thus all the songs mentioned in the download section below are equally good. This is not a band nor a record that I am done with yet, and the fact that I still enjoy it as much now, a year later, as I did when I discovered it is a testament to just how many facets the music of The Ongoing Concept has that you can keep discovering anew.

Download: Cover Girl, Saloon, Class of Twenty-Ten, Failures & Fakes, You Are The One, Like Autumn
For The Fans Of: Letlive, Underoath, Every Time I Die, Norma Jean

Release Date 20.08.2013
Solid State Records

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