Music Review: Places by The Ongoing Concept

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April 23, 2018
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Music Review: Places by The Ongoing Concept
The Ongoing Concept - You Will Go (Official Music Video)

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Price (RRP)
£14.46
Digital Price
£7.99 (amazon)

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For over seven years The Ongoing Concept has tried to make something more than just music. Their unconventional approach to creating has lead to heavy music with trombones, harmonicas, and sort of punk melodicism too unique to describe. “I want our music to be a progression, something outside the box of just a song with lyrics. I want it to be a portrayal of not only my life, but the lives of others,” he explains. “I want everyone to view The Ongoing Concept in their own terms; literally or metaphorically.”

And now, Places. “The album is about growing up and dealing with the past mistakes we all have made,” explains Scholz, referencing his collaboration with fellow band mates Andy Crateau, Ian Nelson, and Cody Rhodes. “With their combined effort, Instrumentally and lyrically, we all were able to portray a very accurate collection of stories that have shaped and made us who we are today."

Editor review

1 reviews

Places by The Ongoing Concept
Overall rating 
 
8.7
Vocals 
 
9.0
Lyrics 
 
7.0
Originality 
 
10.0
Value 
 
9.0
Personal Rating 
 
9.0

I can only imagine how it must feel to be Dawson Scholz. He started a band in high school with his brothers doing something a bit different in the Christian music scene, Metalcore. There is some success and after a couple of indie EP's you get signed to a label. Two albums in your brothers decide to call it a day and walk away from the band. What do you do? Give up, start a new band, keep the name going and introduce a new line-up? It's this last option that Dawson has opted for, forming a new group around him and maintaining the name, but can they maintain the sound?

Well, surprisingly, they have managed to continue what was started on their first two albums. The Ongoing Concept isn't just name, it's also the progressive sound of their music. The title track "Places" serves as more of an introduction to the rest of the album than any serious track of it's own right. It doesn't really sound very 'metalcore' with all sorts of softer elements included. This leads into the first full track which is much more what you would expect, "You Will Go" starts with a rough but distant vocal, later on a higher more sharply focused shouting vocal comes into play, but before the end of the track in the bridge we have a normal singing vocal and the metalcore elements sweep back in building to a crescendo. This is what The Ongoing Concept have been known for, switching styles mid-song and it's clear that this isn't going to change! This track sets up the albums theme of identity which is an important topic for the individual listener, but also very appropriate for this band.

Some things haven't changed very much as a previous theme of individuality is revisited in "The Print" this is something that is acknowledged at the end of the track by Dawson Scholz who protests with tongue-in-cheek that they have done this song before! There are songs that slot into that 'metalcore' sound so brilliantly, but other tracks you might wonder if this is even the same band. "Domesticated" sound much more like a full-on glam rock sound with a huge sound and it incorporates a full horn section. On this album The Ongoing Concept like to refer back to their previous albums, but in different ways. Fans will spot some of these a mile out. In "The Print" it was clearly pointed out, it's a little more subtle in "Domesticated". I think this is all intentional, it's looking at their past and finding their way forward as a pretty-much a brand new line up.

This album has a great blend of styles, coming back ultimately to their metal-core roots, but there are ballads with piano backing as well as the aforementioned glam-rock style. For me, as someone who likes a whole range of different styles, this really works. It makes them very accessible. Metalcore often comes with a style that is about confidence and brashness, but in "Bargain" there is a real self-doubt. I could, and probably will, quite happily play this track on the radio because it's nicely honest and shows real talent and vocal ability outside of the more traditional scream-sounds of their genre.

It's hard to see exactly where the spiritual elements of this album fit in, but it's definitely positive music and there is encouragement here if you listen behind the screams. I really enjoyed the different elements of this album, and I wonder what the next step of the ongoing concept will actually be? There is a great sound and feel to what these guys have put out and now they have established a sound for this new iteration I hope they can really move forward and spread their wings into a bright future.

RA

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