Friday, September 12, 2014

Underpass : "Assimilation"

This band from Vancouver/ Olympia released this lp on desire Records a couple of weeks ago. I like where "Pain of Trust" is going right from the first few chords, it's dark like Pornography era Cure. They get right into the goth here. It's the first song where I was a hundred percent sold on these guys, after jumping around on the album, thanks shuffle mode. Darkness is in degrees here, but I'd say they are more punk than the post part of that equation. But the Cure started off as more of a punk band as well and they have skipped past the Boys' Don't Cry era.

 "Side" is pretty straight forward, more Joy Division if it wasn't for the heavy effects on the guitar, but the bass drives in a more Joy Division like manner. It's starkly taunt almost to the point of being militant."Yesterdays'Violence" holds similar elements. More Love will Tear us Apart...though the vocals find more melody. Hesitant to hit all the notes, but that makes it more punk I suppose than if the croon was more elegantly coated."Stranger" sounds like some one else takes the mic, but it could be the production. Lyrically this song and the her encompass love being lost, so it's that goth feeling of yearning. The bass line to "Stranger"is pretty powerful.The way the song briskly tenses into more of a punkish Joy Division feel works well.

 They take a dip in a more synth laden dark wave type feel musically on "the Eternal Now". It is one of the more dynamic songs, as it starts at more of a dark ballad and begins to pick up speed midway through. The vocals are earnest, fans of punk rock will give them more leeway, than I might, they are rather monotone and reaching higher than it sounds he's comfortable singing as they are slightly flat. The thump of bass and is followed by a monotone punk rock vocal on this song. "About Violence" drones on, but it's dark and they have a cool guitar tone that could stand to be more present in the mix. Said guitar mix varies from song to song, tonally there are slight shifts,some worshipping Robert Smith more than others.

With further listens I begin to get the creeping feeling these guys are like Iceage if they weren't afraid to indulge their new wave side by using keyboards. Which is a good thing for fans of older Iceage, as I have hear the new Iceage, but I'm not allowed to review it until closer to the release date, but I will say it doesn't sound much like their earlier work, even having country elements, but in more of a Nick Cave way.

 This album has grown on me and may continue to do so. It's more punk than expected going into it as the initial buzz this was getting made it sound like this was the second coming of the Cure. I'll give this one a 8.5. If you like the whole 80's revival thing or just a fan- of post-punk that emphasizes the latter part of that equation than it is certainly worth a shot .

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