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Here’s another one by resident reviewer/percussive snot pounder, Lord Covey. IDLE HANDS drops TODAY 1/22/13 and will be wherever you find the rest of our Victory Records favorites… Go cop it, take a listen, and judge for yourself! Who listens to drummers, anyway? 🙂

Continents – Idle Hands (Victory Records)

On their Victory Records debut, UK’s Continents takes territory popularized by Botch, Meshuggah and Misery Signals, and moves it a touch more towards Hatebreed. Their sound ends up almost directly between flagship bands like The Ghost Inside and After The Burial.

The vocals on Idle Hands hit the mark: scary and pissed, incredibly well produced, expansive, and unafraid to step out a bit. If only Continents had a strong conceptual base like TGI or ATB. Like a lot of their peers, they order off of the tapas menu for their audience a little too much. Idle Hands makes me wonder if I’m listening to a hardcore band that went to Berklee, and may or may not (literally) have a bag of tricks in the studio with them.

There are cool ideas all over this record and, once in awhile, Continents manage to synthesize their varied ideas in a way that feels distinctive. The off-balance sequence in the first minute of “Pegasus, Pegasus” is a great example of this, especially the way it deftly lands on a memorable, restrained, clean vocal hook.

But all too often, they seem to have a new move they really need to show you they can do, and not necessarily because it’s an effective compositional choice. Take “Truth And Lies”. For the first two minutes, nearly every part feels unrelated to the one before it. And then it happens: they “break it all the way down” to a totally stock, uninspired, perfectly scripted death-core riff. Yet what follows are the two best moments of the whole song.

Like many young bands, Continents show a lot of promise, but are still playing the part (their press photos and album art support this.) They need more patience to create the kind of synergy of songwriting and soundcraft that allows listeners to make a deep connection.

Matt Covey