Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Continents – Idle Hands

I was more than a little wary when Racer sent this one my way.  Nothing against the label, but I know the types of bands that Victory Records puts out.  There's a lot of hardcore on the label, and I am most definitely not a fan of hardcore.  Actually, the music itself isn't that bad, just really simple for my taste. It's more the fans of hardcore.  Look, just because you listen to a certain type of music, doesn't make you an instant badass.  Although apparently that is the mind set of the typical hardcore fan.  And that hardcore “dancing”?  Looks like you managed to have a seizure whilst somehow remembering the 15 minutes of martial arts class you lasted through.  One of the single most ridiculous things I have ever seen.  White people get enough of a bad rap as lousy dancers, we don't need it taken to the nuclear level that you fools manage to take it to.

However, I have heard good things about this band.  I decided to take the plunge.  And Continents, to quote the great Robert Plant, “I don't know what it is I like about you, but I like it a lot”.  Yeah, I just quoted Led Zeppelin in a review of a hardcore album.  You're welcome.

To be fair, these guys are not a strictly hardcore band.  It is probably the genre that they are closest to, but there is all kinds of metal represented here.  In fact, several of these songs gave me ADD simply due to the genre skipping and tempo changes that take place in a mere three and a half minutes.  That is really cool to me in the doses that Continents delivers.  It keeps things fresh and keeps the music interesting.  The songs are constantly moving and changing and developing, and often taking a zig when you expect a zag.  Very entertaining stuff.

A little about the band itself.  They formed in 2010 in South Wales, UK and took the UK music scene by storm.  This is their debut release.  And they plan to tour all year long in support of “Idle Hands”.  So I would get out and see them, you'll probably have the opportunity to do so.

Musically there are a lot of cool things happening on this album.  As I mentioned, several metal genres are at play here, often in the same song.  These guys are very talented players and they have a crushing rhythm section, which is a real necessity in this type of music.  And there is actual songwriting at work here, not just a bunch of riffs thrown against the wall and used in a song whether or not they stick.  Which is no mean feat when you are mashing up a lot of disparate styles.  This never sounds like a band that is trying a little of this and a little of that because they don't know where they want to go.  They sound like they know exactly what they want their music to be.  Kudos to a young band that understands how to do that.

So what have I learned today?  I need to keep my mind open when it comes to music and record labels.  Oh yeah, and keep my eyes open at metal shows so that when those spazoid hardcore kids start that “dancing” shit I can push them right into the middle of a wall of death.  Problem solved. 


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