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CD REVIEW: CONCEPTS – Transitions

| 9 February 2015 | Reply

yoyoepcoveryo

Label: Independent

Release Date: February 17, 2015

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Mike Hubbard

Concepts are a new(ish) five piece post-hardcore band from Houston, TX.  After forming in 2011 and going through numerous line-up changes, the band is poised to release their independent debut EP, Transitions, on February 17.  The band created some buzz with their cover of Maroon 5’s ‘Animal’, and based on that I was eager to give the EP a listen.

The thing that really stood out to me from the ‘Animals’ cover video was the amazing clean vocals of Blake Williams (well that and his ENORMOUS gauges).  He’s been compared to Jonny Craig, and I could definitely hear why.   On my first spin of the 5 track EP I have to say I was a little disappointed, because based on the Maroon 5 cover I was expecting to hear Williams take more of the lead.  My first impression of the disc was that it was fairly straight-forward metalcore, primarily because I was expecting something more like the ‘Animals’ video.  Then I gave the disc a second pass, and I am glad I did.  Once clear of my initial expectations, I could start to really appreciate what the music offered.

The opening track is ‘Posthumous’ and it comes at you with a ferocity that was barely hinted at in ‘Animals’.  Double bass drum blasts and guitar riffs bordering on mathcore hit you in the chest like a truck.  Unclean vocalist Aaron Isbell ably takes the lead, with accents from Williams.  The second number is ‘Mirrors’, which features both vocalists equally, alternating soft melody with Williams and dark growls from Isbell, ebbing and flowing throughout.  It reminds me of the clean/unclean balance heard on Oh, Sleeper’s ‘Son of the Morning’.  The boys pull out all the stops with the third track, ‘Vultures’.  Once again, you can really hear the Jonny Craig side of Williams, reminiscent of ‘Downtown Battle Mountain II’ era Dance Gavin Dance.  The title track, ‘Transitions’, is up next.  The intensity of the band is on full display here, with electronics punctuating throughout.  The EP closes with ‘Abomination’, another excellent number featuring a mosh-inducing breakdown punctuated by Williams’ soaring vocals.

I’ve now listened to the full EP 5 or 6 times, and each listen brings out another layer of the music.  Having the disc on repeat doesn’t get boring.  Definitely give Concepts’ debut a listen, but don’t be too biased based on the ‘Animals’ cover.  As good as it is, their original material is that much better.

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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