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Passafist by Passafist (Review)

Of all the “industrial” albums I’ve bought, this one’s held the most interest for me, simply because it’s so different.

There was a time, long ago, when I was really into industrial music. Well, maybe ​“really” is too strong a term to use, but I dug it quite a bit. Stuff like Circle of Dust, Brainchild, globalWAVEsystem, and Under Midnight. Then I saw some ads for this album, by a band I’d never heard of or read about. It piqued my curiosity, especially because it was on REX Records, who at the time was releasing some pretty intense stuff. I ended up not getting it until some time later, and it’s probably a good thing. Although released as an ​“industrial” album, this doesn’t fit easily into any of the earmarks of the genre.

If anything, this a pop album gone horribly wrong. The melodies and vocal harmonies are there, and are incredibly infectious, but they’re buried under layers of feedback and distortion. I get the feeling the lyrics are full of twisted, biting humor — if only I could understand them. The primary duo behind the band are former members of Steve Taylor’s band Chagall Guevarra, and there’s rumors that Taylor had a role, which would explain that wierd vibe this album has.

The best example of this is the album’s ten-minute finale, ​“The Dr. Is In (Or How I Learned To Worry And Star Missing The Cold War)” which, if you couldn’t tell, samples heavily from Dr. Strangelove. Veering from Prince-inspired grooves and funky guitar flourishes to bone-crushing rhythms and tortured vocals, it’s easily the album’s best song. Of all the ​“industrial” albums I’ve bought, this one’s held the most interest for me, simply because it’s so different. How often can you say that?


Read more about Chrindie, Passafist, and Rex Music.

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