Continents - Idle Hands (Victory Records)

The next A Day to Remember? Possibly. The best thing to come out of South Wales since the Severn Bridge? Definitely.
Release Date: 
25 Jan 2013 (All day)

Now, I like A Day to Remember more than most of the people on this website are likely to, in that I do like them. Continents are being championed as “the next A Day to Remember” and I would just like to preface this review by saying that, while I do enjoy the music of both bands, Continents’ sound is different to A Day to Remember. While ADTR mix pop-punk and hardcore (no, really) Continents seem to fall pretty heavily on the latter, to the extent that people who like Continents will see ADTR as weaklings (even though they’re not… much).

Anyway, enough needless comparison, to business! This album is, quite simply, one of the reasons why I am so proud to be a part of the British alternative scene. Last year especially the British hardcore (or UKHC if you are a nob) scene exploded, and Continents look set to try and make this year a great year for it too.

To be honest I can see fans of much heavier music liking this. The grooves and riffs on this album are simply sublime; I defy you to go and listen to the intro to Pegasus, Pegasus and not wince at how fucking heavy it is! It sounds like Hatebreed and Hollow Crown-era Architects having angry sex. With their instruments? I didn’t think that one through.

I’m also extremely glad the production on this album is as big as it is. Whereas some hardcore albums sound like they were recorded with a piece of bread, on a damp flannel, by an autistic 12-year-old, this album sounds big, crisp, and fresh. In particular the vocals – some hardcore singers have a habit of just tensing their throat muscles and then just shouting about stuff, but the screams on this album are as good as any other you will find in the alternative scene, the gang vocals are bombastic and yes, a little overblown, but this is hardcore not fucking Coldplay, and the clean vocals aren’t overstated or show-stealing, but they do fit in with the rest of the music and make for some truly epic choruses.

If you wear corpse-paint 24/7 and refuse to listen to any band who doesn’t wear armour or play ridiculous-shaped instruments then you probably won’t like this album. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb there. But if you like pretty much anything else in the alternative world, you will find something to like on this album. There’s heaviness yes, but there’s also some fantastic melodies (the outro to Land of the Free is unbelievably anthemic) and running through the entire core of the album is an honesty, a modest, homegrown, South Wales (the original South Wales you Australian lot) feeling that this album would be remiss for not having.