The Ongoing Concept
Places


3.5
great

Review

by Eucatastrophe CONTRIBUTOR (75 Reviews)
October 8th, 2017 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Guys, we're riding the coattails of another album..

Post-hardcore music is dying.

This may be a tough pill for some people to swallow but outside of reunion albums and Dance Gavin Dance, the only noise coming from the scene in recent years have been from crickets. Maybe people are growing out of their old tastes, maybe the talent isn’t what it used to be. Regardless, post-hardcore music is now a neglected niche, with a treasured history of bands who now seem content on making different flavors of alt/pop rock if they make anything at all, and no discernable direction for the future. Genre be damned however, I have spent the past 4 years explaining how The Ongoing Concept is a damn fine rock band and Places continues that notion. While not wholly original (ironic") even in light of their own discography, a piece of that can be attributed to the drastic turnover in members, with 1/3 of the brothers Dawson Scholz the single survivor of the fallout. With three brand new members Places strikes in every way as a reset album, an album to feel each other out as musicians. And with material every bit as soulful and catchy as heard on Handmade, Places is at least proof the band has gelled.

Musically and tonally though, Places takes more than a few cues from the band’s previous work Handmade. The guitars don’t crunch or bludgeon but noodle soulfully over Dawson’s shrieks with numerous parts having an improvisational flair that adds to an already infectious level of fun. Fun however should be a supplement to, not a foundation for, an album and Places foundations are shaky, damn near splintered. As mentioned before, Places is a direct sequel to Handmade; not a bad thing in and of itself, but what some people may call a comfort zone, others might call laziness or even borderline ineptitude. “The Print” as Dawson himself states, “rides the coattails” of the band’s most popular song “Cover Girl” in theme, anthemic vocals, and the self-aware quazi-snarky spoken word part at the end. A fun song for sure, but telling your listeners you’re ripping off one of your own songs doesn’t make it any less odd.

Places makes up for its derivative nature with the band’s trademark abundance of positive energy. It’s an energy that’s pervaded every release so far and the seasoning making every banger the band writes that much better and every dud seem better than it actually is. “Domesticated” is a perfect example of this energy, incorporating spastic horns into their bluesy rock formula creates a wild cacophony of sound bringing back memories of “The Back Of Your Mouth” by the Used. A blueprint rarely used and brilliantly realized here. The song itself oozing everything The Ongoing Concept is about yet sounding nothing like the rest of the album. The Ongoing Concept are now at a delicate point in their careers. They aren’t established enough to play any sort of nostalgia card and release the same album over and over and make no mistake, Places is Handmade 2.0. Today’s listeners demand constant progression and evolution but the nucleus of the group’s sound has the potential to carry them for years. But with three new members and the obvious chemistry displayed here, hopefully the comfort zone gets a little wider in the future.



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3.2
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
Contributing Reviewer
October 8th 2017


15796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Didn't put this in the review but I think Dawson is 100% the reason for the stagnation here. Hopefully he feels comfortable branching out next time.



http://smarturl.it/OngoingPlaces

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
October 8th 2017


13300 Comments


good review

and yes post-hardcore is dead and has been for a while now

metalcore has been dead even longer although the abr fans still dont seem to have noticed

Digging: Polvo - Cor-Crane Secret

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
October 8th 2017


15796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that just means it's now cool to listen to it, listening to what's alive is so uncool.

tcat84
October 8th 2017


1142 Comments


Post-hardcore is a sound that a band can only seem to produce a few albums of before they either hang em up or change directions into an easier digestible alt/rock sound, which isn't always a bad thing for some bands.

Albums like these quiet my hunger for a great post-hardcore album for a little while. Maybe one day it will be back again for the 3rd time in a slightly different incarnation

TheSupernatural
October 8th 2017


1662 Comments


"outside of reunion albums and Dance Gavin Dance, the only noise coming from the scene in recent years have been from crickets."

Circa Survive, O'Brother, Silverstein, Night Verses, Arcane Roots, Too Close to Touch, I the Mighty... you been sleeping on these or just ignoring them? I wouldn't call it crickets.

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2017


15796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

by noise I mean the rampant hype that came with something like a new thrice release years ago. putting aside that most of those bands you listed are just kinda alright, I'm not saying the anything about the quality of the music, just the talk that surrounds post-hardcore music is a whisper of what it used to be.

hesperus
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2017


938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

neat review. this album was my first exposure to the band, and while it was kinda cool at first, the novelty wore off pretty quickly

Nightly
October 9th 2017


2 Comments


Dude, seriously? Post-hardcore is dead? Gimme a break.

SomeGuyDude
October 9th 2017


229 Comments


I love how many reviews on this site start by saying the genre the album is in is dead, dying, or getting stale.

ajcollins15
October 9th 2017


31 Comments


Post hardcore isn't dying, it's just stuck. Dance Gavin dance is one of the only main bands that can push the genre to new highs. Just like how at the drive in and (god I can't remember there name right now but that other band that came out with the sound of punk to come) did for the genre in the early 2000's. There are a lot of bands that are great arcane roots, eidola, etc. that are great but are stuck too.
Metal-core suffers even more because it's been stuck for a much longer time. That's why I like the new oceans ate Alaska album because that pushes the genre to a different idea that metal core isn't quite used to.
This is what post hardcore needs a new band like this band was an awesome start with there first few albums, but this isn't the right direction

MarsKid
October 9th 2017


5611 Comments


"I love how many reviews on this site start by saying the genre the album is in is dead, dying, or getting stale."

Mostly because I believe it's true to a degree. I know I've written way too much about the explosion of the music scene and its benefits/pitfalls. Suffice to say, while innovation could (and arguably is) happening, it is harder to find due to the relative ease of recording. The bar of entry into the music market has decreased significantly to the point where anyone with a small amount of dedication and some rudimentary tools can craft something, post to bandcamp/YouTube, and receive acclaim or at least an audience. This causes good releases to mesh with the bad and get buried, etc. etc.

I think I agree with the sentiment that it is stuck, but that can be made synonymous with the sentiment that the genre is "dead" in terms of lacking inspiration or noticeable innovation.

People really ought to check Zapruder - Fall In Line, but I've posted that everywhere and wrote a review and got no traffic. Great example of modern core done justice

Also, good review lol

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
October 9th 2017


5765 Comments


post-hardcore died with The Jesus Lizard around the late 90's.. Dance gavin dance is dogshit..

MarsKid
October 9th 2017


5611 Comments


That's gonna be a no from me

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2017


15796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the pill guys i said it'd be hard to swallow.

MarsKid
October 10th 2017


5611 Comments


wat

TooManyFriends
October 10th 2017


2529 Comments


spirit lake is fuckin dope

stuck_in_decades
October 10th 2017


722 Comments


I wouldn't say post hardcore is dead, it's mostly really small and unknown bands doing interesting things, stuff you find on bandcamp by accident or some random group of kids selling their handmade CDs through whatever small bands use nowadays to sell their stuff. The good stuff is hard to find, I agree, but there's plenty of bands doing cool stuff. I think the appeal of these bands just declined massively so these small bands never really break out because people don't care enough to look for it.

Also @MarsKid Zapruder is really solid, thanks for that.

MarsKid
October 10th 2017


5611 Comments


There are plenty of assumptions one can make for the state of genre, but I think we can all agree that, to some degree, a classification such as this has become static and unchanging for a reason or a handful.

And I'm glad you like it, they fucking slay

Voltimand
October 10th 2017


705 Comments


"and yes post-hardcore is dead and has been for a while now

metalcore has been dead even longer although the abr fans still dont seem to have noticed"

Been thinking about this recently. Seems metalcore got absorbed by prog-metal, which is currently obsessed with djent-style playing and gone stale. Prog itself is going in a more melodic and instrumental route as of late (with bands like Arch Echo, Wide Eyes, Aviations).

Digging: Gasoline - Journey Into Abstract Hip Hop

Calc
Contributing Reviewer
October 10th 2017


15796 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I think the appeal of these bands just declined massively so these small bands never really break out because people don't care enough to look for it."



exactly. dying.



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