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What Was Gained From What Was Lost

Wednesday, Aug 31 2005
As its band name suggests, Continental's sound is vast. What Was Gained From What Was Lost is also fittingly mournful: The eerily apt title took on added significance when Continental's bass player, Brent Kimble, passed away on the eve of the album's release. More emotive than catchy, the seven atmospheric instrumentals on the band's third LP invade the mind like engine noises pouring through the window of a plane, featuring dueling guitars circling over droning bass lines and deliberate, steady snares. The music isn't driven by melody so much as by interwoven riffs that crisscross like highways as seen from a bird's-eye view. Unfortunately, Continental's gentle, soaring post-rock isn't terribly interesting. It's not that the often ambient, sometimes frantic songs are too long; the problem is that they're somewhat flat and relentlessly midtempo. In fact, the album's lengthiest track -- the eight-plus-minute "I and I Midnight Rendezvous" -- is also its strongest, full of sudden turns, jet-fueled guitars, and echoey drums. It's a shame Continental didn't give the other songs more ground to cover.

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Nancy Einhart


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