The Ongoing Concept: Handmade

Idaho’s hyperactive rockers turn their genre-blender up to 11

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If you fell head over heels for The Ongoing Concept’s ludicrously OTT mix of Southern grooves, pistol-whippin’ riffs, gospel choir singalongs and badass breakdowns the first time around, then you’ll be pleased to know that their sophomore opus goes bigger and even more flamboyant.

Opening with the bombastic Amends – a number so raucous and catchy it could open a sell-out on the West End – Handmade packs so much into a breathless half-hour that it requires repeat listens to fully take everything in.

From the funky, bluesy riffage of Feel and hyperactive metallic attack of Trophy to futuristic noodler Unwanted (a contender for chorus of the year) and campside banjo anthem Melody (yeah, you heard), this is a fucking riot. If there’s one small criticism, it’s that the album’s occasionally muddy production lets the menagerie of noise melt into something of a sonic clusterfuck, but that really is nitpicking – you’ll struggle to find a rowdier collection of summer jams this year.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.