Pass Away

Thirty Nine

Written by: PP on 15/12/2021 20:04:09

For the past few years, Pass Away has been one of the go-to bands to check out while waiting for the next The Lawrence Arms record to land. Featuring Mike Ireland (I Am The Avalanche), Eric Fairchild (Crime In Stereo), and John Nicholls, the trio have released a couple of EPs and a solid debut full-length "The Hell I've Always Seen" in the past, which have all drilled down into the basics of Midwestern punk, complete with smoke-laden vocals, treble-charged guitars and the whole shebang.

The same continues on their sophomore album "Thirty Nine", where the band opts for a 'don't fix what isn't broken' strategy. They continue to heavily sound like a blend between The Lawrence Arms and I Am The Avalanche, resulting in a smooth punk rock expression that's just about ideal for the FESTers and old school 'Orgcore' fans out there. Songs like "Moss Bar" and "Bartender's Lament" are slow to mid-tempo pieces focusing around a drinker's life in Brooklyn, relying on laid-back, hazy vocal melodies playing against polished, yet melodic, ringing guitars. The sing-alongs are moderately catchy, but not sugarcoated like pop punk bands, choosing instead to go for classic woo-hoo bits or memorable catchphrases like "so raise a fucking glass" on album highlight "Blue Drinks".

It's the sort of laid-back, unassuming expression that encompasses its listener into a sense of nostalgic familiarity. You feel right at home if you've ever spent time with bands like Astpai, MakeWar, None More Black, The Falcon, or The Holy Mess for that matter. They've even got acoustic cuts that beg for a cozy gathering around a fireplace at a rustic bar somewhere in the Midwest - see "Bushwick" for an example - even if most of the album features classic no-frills Midwestern punk.

"St. James" is another great example of how to write an infectiously catchy chorus without ever needing to stray outside of the predefined genre boundaries - it just works. In fact, save for the downbeat acoustic opener "Chic's Beach", the record just sounds pleasant throughout with solid melodies, albeit without much flair or other fanfare in the process. An all-around solid Midwestern punk rock album, nothing more, nothing less.

Download: Blue Drinks, St. James, Bartender's Lament, Moss Bar,
For the fans of: I Am The Avalanche, The Lawrence Arms, The Holy Mess, Astpai, MakeWar, The Falcon
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.11.2021
Suburbia Records

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