A lot of bands like to say they practically live in the studio when making an album.
The Continuums literally did at a house in Austin, Texas, right off Burnet Rd.
Morgan Ries' bedroom became the drum-tracking spot. Barrett Boswell's closet morphed into a vocals booth and guitar amp room.
The end result is Hodgepodge, the Continuums debut LP, which sounds equal parts lived-in and live.
Half of the 11 tracks were put together while touring across Texas, the Northeast and regularly making the rounds locally in Austin. They haven't lost any of the live-recording punch. If anything, they're more potent.
Give guitarist Austin Ries multiple tracks to work with, and he'll produce an elixir of effects and riffs that's more powerful than Bacardi 151. His brother Morgan's drums thunder with newfound power. Boswell screeches and howls with horn-dog fury while Cameron Goolsby’s bass lines drive like a locomotive and float through the atmosphere in melodic effervescence.
The album opener "Mad Dog" is a veritable 10-layer lasagna of distortion and effects that jumps from cock-rock overdrive to psyched-out sounds that can only be described as wet.
"Leave the Light On"--beyond giving Motel 6 a ready-made theme song with which to target impressionable millennials--captures the feeling and yearning of a man who's just spent the last six hours day drinking with his buddies down at the river, but knows that his bed is warmed by a steady woman at home.
And while the Continuums are still a group of virile 20-somethings, they're become a bit more reflective in their quarter-age years, cranking the amps down a few notches on "It Takes Love for Living." More than just a change of pace, the track may be the band at its best, marrying a tight rhythm section with interlacing guitar licks, while Boswell's reverb-drenched voice floats over the whole affair.
This brief inhale divides the album in two before exhaling into the in-your-face rocker “Puppy Chow”. The track journeys from Led Zeppelin and other classic rock giants into a free-for-all instrumental section with how-did-they-do-that-sounds, reverse guitars, and distant shouts that seem to come from nearby hills.
It all leads to “Every Time I Tell This Story”, where the band officially cements its progression into psych rock euphoria. The swirling sounds of guitars put the listener against a backdrop of a carnival where one expects to see Mr. Kite smoking a cigarette behind a tent, while the guitar solos take the listener to a distant land. A land one wants to visit.
In all, Hodgepodge is an instantly lovable rock and roll record; no small feat considering the genre is harder than ever to define. Bands now come out pigeonholed to a sub-class or specific genus. The Continuums don't have time for labels. Their music is fun, served straight-up, meant to be washed down with a shot of whisky and a beer.