Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Album Review: Passenger Peru -Passenger Peru

Passenger Peru
Passenger Peru
***and1/2 out of *****
This Brooklyn based duo has put together their first full length release that splashes experimental pop, chugging bass lines and off kilter tunes into the listeners ear. Multi-instrumentalist Justin Gonzales and bassist Justin Stivers Passenger Peru is intriguing and quirky. 

There are short trip-out experiments like "Tiger Lilly" (which probably sound better in an altered state) but also straight up tunes with only slight alterations like the first single "Heavy Drugs" that despite it's title rolls light and airy. "Your Hunger" open things in a bit of a darker mood that by the end recalls a heavy Tool feel via Stivers bass line.    

"Weak Numbers" builds, swelling with big drums, ohh's and distorted bass while "Memory Garden" seems to have 5 or 6 different guitar styles strumming during its opening. Both tracks stay fairly straight ahead but hint at much more beneath the surface, a neat trick. Upbeat guitars pair with bad ass bass distortion for the more ominous "Health System" and "In The Absence of Snow" grooves along with fuzz-tone and distortion before a catchy as hell guitar run, proving an early highlight.   

Disk closer "Life and Death of a Band" expands the sonic palette fully and amps the energy levels of guitars, key twitches and unidentifiable sounds all roll in, but the bass motors everything along, causing tension and angst. Gonzales and Stivers went all out to end things, even including a live bonus track and a cover tune of My Bloody Valentine's "Don't Ask Why".   

Like most outfits in this genre vocally and lyrically there is a dream feel to things with effects and layering added making voices act more as an extra instrument then a medium to get ideas across. That said unlike other outfits, the group seems to at least want you to know what words are being sung, even if they don't always make the most sense. 

Who knows if this duo will continue winding down the weird path they have cut out for themselves on this self titled release. There are some interesting avenues explored and a sense of freedom that anything can happen in the next note while still remaining in an artsy-pop framework.
We like experiential stuff here at RtBE and Passenger Peru fit that bill of sale. The album just came out.

Support the band here, buy the album here, you can stream and peep some video samples below  

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