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Back in the ’60s, music producer Phil Spector came up witha recording technique dubbed the “wall of sound.” He got the Beatles to use it, and the overly-layered-but-incredibly-deep influence can be heard on some of their most famous recordings. Listening to Transitions, the debut EP from Houston-based post-hardcore rockers Concepts, is a bit like being hit with that wall of sound, but without The Beatles. There’s too much going on making it overproduced. They use all the vocal effects tricks, add in strings and pad and make melodies with the synth. It all contributes to the songwriters not knowing when to tone it down. There is a great dynamic between the two singers, though, one handling the rough guttural screams and one handling the clean vocals. The first track on the EP really shows how great the vocal dynamics can be, and with the grooving guitar riffs set on top, it’s money. These guys are at their best when they drop the extra effects and leave just the band’s raw power. It’s great to hear the band shine in those moments, but those moments are more like oases in a desert. Concepts recently did a cover of Maroon 5’s “Animals,”and it sounds great. If they had stuck more to that raw sound, the Transitions EP would have been more refreshing overall. If they learn to restrain themselves a little, they’ll be writing a better full-length in no time.


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