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Video Review: The Ongoing Concept’s ‘Saloon’ rocks even as it goes a bit overboard

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In The Ongoing Concept’s new video for the song “#Saloon,” produced by Great Falls’ own Ryan Soria and vocalist Dawson Scholz, the premise sucks you in from the start and holds your attention well.

The director hits the Wild, Wild West theme beautifully through small details. It starts with a closeup on the boots, the spurs and the cowboy hats.

We see a group of men, who we later find out to be The Ongoing Concept, enter a saloon. The camera shows a closeup of the “batwing” doors and the dust kicked up by the men entering the bar.

One of the patrons sees the men and exclaims, “Look who it is. Back for another game now, are we? We all know how that went last time.”

Up until this point, the video had me. I was fully engulfed in the world, and the characters. But then, all of a sudden, it loses me when a bearded man, the band’s lead singer, approaches the man at the table and screams in his face, which also acts as the start of the song.

After that first bit of shock, though, I could get back into the video and the song. It’s just that scream broke the fantasy a little too abruptly for me It worked in setting up the fact that you realize, ‘Oh, yeah, this is a music video, I get it.’ However, perhaps a little more subtlety could have worked there.

The song itself rocks pretty hard. The Idaho band lists it’s influences as people and bands such as Bruce Hornsby, Underoath, Toto and LetLive. Those influences are fully on display here and they give off a solid sound, musically. I’m not a fan of screaming, so much, but there isn’t too much of it here to make me dislike it.

Part of what makes the video work is that it has a compact story told in three parts. The beginning, when the band arrives to play poker and right a wrong that happened last time, the second part when the lead singer loses again, but discovers that the man who won was cheating, and the conclusion, when the sheriff shows up to institute wild-west law and order.

It’s a pretty basic story, sure, but wrapping it around the music takes scripting, storyboarding, table reads and a lot more work behind the scenes that you don’t see while you’re watching it.

It’s much more complex than…”So we’ll get you guys to play your instruments, we’ll get a hot babe on a car, and we’ll shoot you with your instruments and then we’ll show the hot babe and we’ll go back and forth,” which let’s be honest, we see far too much when it comes to music videos.

Full disclosure, I haven’t heard much from The Ongoing Concept before finding this video, but I’m glad I found out about them.

Anyhow, check out the video for yourself above. And if you like what you hear, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.

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