The first few minutes of The On Going Concept’s debut album Saloon are a rather weird experience for a first time listener. After about a minute and a half of hearing the ambiance of a crowded bar on Saturday night entitled Let’s Deal The Cards Again, the listener is then completely assaulted by the ear splitting opening riff of the title track. This is just the sort of dirty trick that you might expect from progressive metal bands such as Between the Buried and Me, or a metal-core band such as The Dillinger Escape Plan. Don’t judge too quickly though, the On Going Concept really can’t be classified as either one of those things entirely. Though they definitely contain elements of both of the above named genres and bands, and also have well-known metal-core label Solid State Records releasing their debut album, they are however a different beast entirely. As spastic and weird as the On Going Concept would probably like us to think that they are, at their core they’re just a rock band that makes damn catchy tunes.
Songs like Little Situation make it pretty obvious that they have been listening to Guns N’ Roses as much as they have Under oath throughout their lives. Although one of the most noticeable influences on this album has to be none other than the king of weird himself, Mike Patton. What’s somewhat ironic though, is that it’s not his weirdness as much as his ability to write great hooks that they have clearly derived influence from; especially on the first single Cover Girl and the track You Are the One, which inevitably get stuck in your head despite the expert use of both banjo and hand claps. Though Saloon may not be as weird as one might have expected, it does not cease to surprise. Sidelines is a track that comes out of nowhere with an almost top pop chart worthy ballad, played only on piano. Overall Saloon is definitely an album worth checking out if you like great songs, no matter how weird or not weird it may be.
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