Passenger Peru – Light Places

PP Light Places Cover

The acclaimed self-titled debut album from US duo Passenger Peru was quite simply inventive pop in its rawest and most compelling form. Released at the dawn of 2014, it instantly pushed the Brooklyn band if not into a category of its own, certainly on to a loftier perch than most other pieces of melodic exploration. Now the pair of Justin Stivers and Justin Gonzales returns with its successor Light Places, venturing into arguably even less polished but increasingly fascinating realms of invention and sonic weaving across its enthralling majesty. The album peers into new and at times darker places in the creativity of the band and the emotions of the listener, but never moving too far away from the melodic imagination and psyche seducing mesmerising which marked so impressively their debut.

Shadows have been a constant flirtation and temper in the music of Passenger Peru, but upon Light Places there seems a stronger contrasting of light and dark elements musically and emotionally. From the emotive lyrics through to the unpredictable tapestry of sounds, the release embraces the intimate warmth and cold of life, colouring them with a maze of inventiveness which at times almost borders on the warped and constantly leaves ears and imagination yearning for more. It is a gripping persuasion which starts from opening track House Squares and never relents across an ever twisting range of sounds and expressive atmospheres until the last sigh of the album’s final note. The opener immediately flirts with ears through a vibrant rhythmic dance which is soon courted by sober yet bright melodies from guitar and bass alike. There is haziness to the song too, but only a thin veil over the imaginative warm weave of melodic colour, concentrating more on the effect wrapped vocals. The song never deviates from its compelling repetitious stroll, simply adding new sounds and colours to the mesmeric tempting ensuring a fascinating start to the album.

It is a constant intrigue which is given more to ponder and explore with the charming Friends Don’t Call, a song which from a gentle soothing touch, boils and grows into a tempestuous vocal and musical climax. It has ears engrossed and imagination bewitched, each especially seduced by the dark throated bassline which grouchily pulsates through the song’s increasingly bedlamic climate. Already the album is showing darker tendencies in its nature and exploration compared to the last album, but also a ridiculously addictive invention which erupts in full ingenuity for The passengerperuBest Way To Drown. The first track revealed from the album just before its release, the imperious incitement is an instant dance of rhythmic devilry and tenacious strumming, elements forging together the pathway to powerful and climactic crescendos throughout the song’s landscape. Alongside vocals croon with a seductive sway whilst the nimble fingers behind guitars and bass sculpt a potent drama for the picturesque acoustic scenery, the latter showing a breeze of XTC and Slug Comparison in its radiance. The song is quite gripping, forging a new pinnacle in the album which is matched occasionally and worried constantly by the remaining encounters within Light Places.

Placeholder engrosses thoughts next, its Beatles-esque simplicity a rich lure which is at times buffeted and swallowed by a bedlamic tempest of noise and intensity; further contrasts strikingly conflicting with and complimenting each other. The pleasing flame of the song is surpassed by another major album peak in the fuzzy shape of One Time Daisy Fee. A touch of Melvins flirts from within its scuffed up invention, but also moments of folkish mischief and punky irreverence, all transforming a great adventure into a moment of brilliance.

Both the angular pop tantalising that is Break My Neck and the transfixing Failing Art School leave ears smiling and appetite greedy. The first manages to be a little clunky and simultaneously velvety in sound and touch whilst the second, which is predominantly an instrumental stroll through a visually melodic landscape of possibilities and emotional mysteries, simply sends the imagination off on its own poetic adventures with new evolutions in the script with every listen. The pair of songs are spellbinding, the latter especially engrossing before the outstanding Better Than The Movies parades its own inspirational ingenuity. Seemingly worldly in its influences and cosmopolitan in its flavour, the track is creative voodoo casting an inescapable spell with rhythmic minimalism within an electronic paint box.

Impossible Mathematics brings a calm back to the festivities; initially at least before its own raw textures and voracious ideation breaks out in varying degrees alongside juicy grooves and corrosive riffs as appetising and frequent as comforting vocals and sparkling melodies. It is another fresh twist to the flight of the album; its variety unrelenting as the dirtily lined sounds of Crimson Area Rug brings new dark emotions and exploits, and a character which is summed up by a word repeated in the song “paranoid”.

Light Places is brought to a close by firstly the soft and docile yet creatively lively On Company Time and lastly the delicate Pretty Lil’ Paintin’ with its balmy vocals. Neither track has a fire in its belly but both leave a warm glow around the listener which pleasingly relaxes emotions after the rigorous textures of other tracks before them; those contrasts again working beautifully.

Passenger Peru conjures unique embraces and experiences with their music; something already established with their debut album. Now though Light Places takes it to new and in some places intrusive depths; the result being another essential release from the band and a new exciting escapade for the listener.

Light Places is out digitally and as a Ltd Ed cassette via Fleeting Youth Records on February 24th @ http://fleetingyouthrecords.bandcamp.com/album/light-places

http://www.passengerperuband.com/

RingMaster 24/02/2015

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Passenger Peru- Self Titled

     Passenger Peru

    Startlingly immersive with the craft and ability to turn the listener into a castaway lost in an expansive seduction of suggestive pop majesty within a dreamy soundscape in its rawest breath, the debut album from Passenger Peru is an experience you cannot help licking your lips over before each and every encounter. It is a mouthwatering collection of warm and elegant persuasions bred in an exploration which is bold and bravely adventurous. The self-titled album is as mentioned pop in its rawest most potent form but with an inspiring scourge of creative devilry and melodic mesmerism twisted into a hypnotic and at times wonderfully demonic dance.

    Passenger Peru comes from the creative minds and passions of Justin Stivers (vocals, guitar, bass, synth, drums, drum machines) and Justin Gonzales (vocals, guitar, synth, piano, samples), the former one time bassist with The Antlers for their Hospice album. The seeds for the Brooklyn based project are said to have started four years ago when the two musicians met and evolved into the Stivers led band Pet Ghost Project. A year in preparation, Passenger Peru is mouthwatering sonic scenery composed into something unique from essences of garage rock and shoegaze, psychedelic, alternative rock and more. With plenty of peaks and very minimal lows, if any at all, the lo-fi, hi-quality flight is raucous spellbinding pop brought in its most primal and beauteous magnificence.

     The album immediately takes the listener to a scintillating pinnacle with its opening pair of songs, a height the album never passperucoverquite emulates again though it thrills consistently trying. First song Your Hunger emerges from a cinematic melodic swoon and following studio doodling launches one of the most exciting and impressively tempting starts to a song heard in a long time. Guitar and bass instantly secure the fullest attention as they virtually gnaw on the ears with the latter offering an almost carnivorous tone to its dark enticement. With mutually attractive rhythmic teasing alongside, the rapacious sound conjured by the pair continue to coax and lure in the strongest lustful reaction and hunger, a post punk essence bringing thoughts of Joy Division and Gang Of Four to mind prowling the imagination whilst framing the excellent mellow and soothing vocals. It is delicious mix with sinister spirals of cold sound amid glorious flames of melodic tenderness colliding and uniting for a quite stunning provocation. Complete with an irresistible repetitious gait to bass and rhythms alongside a quite saucy groove which also hardly veers from its prime intent, the song sets the highest plateau for the album to keep up.

    In the Absence of Snow steps up next to stroll that pedestal with ease, its opening acoustically sculpted guitar tantalising and the again snarling throaty bass tempting exceptionally addictive and successful in igniting even greater rapture in the imagination and emotions. Best described as the Jesus and Mary Chain meets House Of Love whilst the revelry of Ok Go! is at play, the bait laid down for the ears and emotions to partake in, is again virulently impossible to refuse or not find a greedy need for. Rock pop at its finest with a fiery solo and another spine of repetition kissed captivation, the track continues the album’s unassailable submission of the passions. With an impressive lyrical craft and insight also at work, which admittedly comes second best to the sound in attention taking over the first couple of plays, Passenger Peru at this point has already ignited an ardour which only a total car crash of a remaining body of songs could deflate.

    Pollen Season takes no time in showing no such disaster is on the cards though as mentioned before, the album never treads the same lofty levels again. To put that into context though the following tracks prey on and build their own benchmark which most bands would swap their grannies for, the third song on the release a beguiling proposition of organic beauty around once more a bass treat you can only enthuse over with a tendency to drool, and a percussive enterprise which does not steal focus but would leave a major whole with its absence. Seriously magnetic, the song departs the now raging appetite for the album for the epidemically engaging pop absorptions of Tiger Lilly and Heavy Drugs to take over. The first of the two has a swagger and melodic grin which teases and charms but an equally solicitous sonic and rhythmic bruising to its latter swing whilst the second is a sultry summer breeze of radiant melodies within an increasingly dark and unsettling premise.

     The second half of the album starts with Weak Numbers, again a track which ensnares thoughts and appreciation but marks a slightly less potent stretch for the album. The front five tracks leave the latter quintet in their shadow though once more in a context where Passenger Peru is on another realm with their artistry at the start of the album and a still immensely impressive level thereafter. A gentle and smouldering embrace, the song is a melancholic incitement with celestial elegance aligned to a tempestuous but contained emotive brawl. It is a transfixing companion immediately supported by the exotically imagined Memory Garden and the enthralling, intensive fascination of Health System, a song which merges heavy and light melodic and intimidating textures into a weave of emotion entangling beauty with XTC like alchemy.

     The new single from the album Dirt Nap comes next, emerging with a slight Celtic lilt to its sonic beckoning before a predominately acoustic caressing ensues with a sense of The Wonder Stuff to its snare. Initially thoughts were not over excited by the song but over time it works its way under the skin to seduce though personally not the right choice as the single to lure people into the outstanding album, a record holding back another major treat for its closing offering. Life and Death of a Band is a rowdy and antagonistic romp but equally a ridiculously endearing and alluring temptress from a maelstrom of invention and creative intrigue and a quite brilliant finale to a breath-taking slab of pop excellence.

    Passenger Peru will be massive at some point with all the evidence resting and burning away in their debut, a journey as unique and awe inspiring as their name hints at.

http://www.passengerperuband.com/

http://passengerperu.bandcamp.com/

9/10

RingMaster 05/02/2014

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