As evidenced in the time-lapsed video, the forthcoming album's title Handmade is more than a moniker and brings the term "DIY" to a whole new level. In addition to recording the album entirely in their house, making their own videos and album artwork, the band went as far as to build their own instruments for this album.
This process was undoubtedly long and challenging. In the case of the drums alone, steps included setting axe to pine trees, drying the wood of sap and moisture over long arduous hours, shaping, sanding, and attaching the pieces together, to drilling and installing the hardware to the finished drum. In the case of the guitars different pickups and electronics were soldered on and off to match the tonal aspects of each individual song.
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From the Ground Up| Posted July 14, 2015
The Ongoing Concept has always been defined by their dedication to building a unique sound for themselves from the ground up-- an approach brought to the next level with this summer's Handmade. Fort his project, the rowdy post-hardcore band built all their own instruments, recorded the album in their house, and even created their own artwork and music video (down to constructing the set). And yet again, their hard work paid off.
The album carries the aggressive, over-the-top sound the group has become known for, which is evident from the first full track "Amends." The use of horns on this track and later on the cautionary "Soul" create a bombastic sound like Fall Out Boy turned hardcore, an impression strengthened by the incredibly hook-heavy melodies screamed by Dawson and Kyle Scholz.
Frenzied "Feel" channels a groove in its bass tones (courtesy of TJ Nichols) and brings out the subtly expectation-subverting lyrics that have marked the group's lyrics from day one: "you make me feel like I am worth nothing, but you're my inspiration." "Melody" is similarly clever piece of writing, creating a pseudo-folk vibe with its ukelele intro as it mourns the singer's difficult relationship with Melody-- which works whether you take it as referring to an actual woman, or as a personification of the elusive songwriting muse. Many of the songs deal with relational difficulties (even be it the relationship with music and creativity), but fresh lyrical methods save the well-tread ground from feeling trite.
Any time The Ongoing Concept's music reminds of another artist and teases sonic categorization, it instantly dances into new territory that yet again defines definition. "Unwanted" utilizes electronic elements, as has become increasingly common in rock subgenres, but here the synth lines are used to add texture and depth to the crushing guitars rather than to overpower or smooth them out. "Falling" harkens back to debut album Saloon with almost ragtime-style piano introducing bluesy guitar riffs.
Since their debut, The Ongoing Concept has consistently impressed me with their delightful originality and complete refusal to settle for what anyone else is doing. With Handmade The Ongoing Concept has crafted yet another post-hardcore masterpiece, with their personal fingerprints on every note. Their laudable dedication to even the smallest details have created a sound that defies comparison, and Handmade's ability to consistently surprise the listener is an achievement that sets The Ongoing Concept apart.
Song to Download Now:
"Amends" (Get it on iTunes here.)