Considering that THE ONGOING CONCEPT are the latest addition to Solid State Records – a label long recognized as the home to some of the biggest names in metalcore – one would be forgiven for assuming they have a vested interest in preserving the traditions of that genre. For this Idaho quartet, nothing could be further from the truth.
The members of this literal band of brothers (three siblings and a childhood friend) are just as quick to mention artists like TOTO, YANNI and BRUCE HORNSBY as influences as they are genre giants UNDEROATH, BRING ME THE HORIZON and LETLIVE. From moment one, it’s clear THE ONGOING CONCEPT are zeroing in on a refined, artistically driven sound. But listeners can forget about this band coloring inside the metalcore lines. In fact, they can forget about the lines altogether.
Exhibit A is the band’s debut full-length for Solid State Records, Saloon, an 11-track splatter-art canvas of jaw-droppingly heavy music swirled with a grab-bag of musical elements. Some ragtime here, some honkytonk piano there. Some banjo here, some spoon-playing there. Did you just hear scat vocals? Yes, you did. The only thing more surprising than some of the stunts THE ONGOING CONCEPT pulls on Saloon is the fact that it works so well, so seamlessly.
The secret to the band’s success is, while they may not be particularly faithful to any genre, THE ONGOING CONCEPT never waver from their musical mission statement. “We write what we want. We don't stick to some genre or boundary,” explains guitarist and vocalist Dawson Scholz. “We write music not for today, not for tomorrow – we write it to last forever. You know what will still be playing in Taco Bell five years from now? ‘Don't Stop Believin’ by JOURNEY. Why? Because it's timeless. Thats the feeling we strive for.”
Timelessness is not an easy quality to capture. But doing things the easy way doesn’t seem to be THE ONGOING CONCEPT’s M.O. To make sure Saloon perfectly captured the sounds they heard in their heads, the band spent four months trudging back and forth to a studio in Canada, ultimately recording every aspect of their album two times over. They did it for the same reason they produced the album themselves, the same reason they make their own videos, design their own merchandise. Controlling the chaos takes effort.