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The Ongoing Concept: Handmade

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

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.

Metal Hammer editor Merl heads up the world's biggest metal brand and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.