Review Summary: Good. Bad. I'm the guy with the gun
Vero Beach, Florida is your stereotypical Floridian city. Beautiful beaches, golf courses, citrus and rich old people populate this charmingly quaint city that lies smack dab in the middle of the madness known as Orlando and Miami. It's a small city but a popular one so you're bound to come across some interesting people with interesting stories. A month ago or so my yoga teacher sent me an invite to see a local band called Pass/Ages play. I saw their facebook page and went, holy ***, a darkwave band from my neck of the woods? No ***ing way. So I saw them live with my girlfriend and we noticed the singer was in our local brewery yoga class. I was like well that's ***ing cool. So we sat with our backs against the wall as the duo of Violent Rain(formerly Pass/Ages) put on a brooding yet ethereal performance that hilariously scared off all the dolled up girls in the room. I would end up meeting up with these two the next day after yoga and chat about everything from Tampa's The Castle to musical involvement with The Cruxshadows over a tasty plate of homemade gluten free cupcakes made by the singer for her mother's birthday. It was metal. It was great.
Enough with the saccharine sweet back story though. It's time to talk about the music. The duo, consisting of John and Caitlin, play a droning yet groovy form of darkwave that takes influence from the 80's masters. Their music makes you want to get up and dance as much as it makes you want to go drink and ponder deep thoughts in a graveyard. This recording, Demo I, is (possibly) the first release to come from the band although I know they've worked and released music previously with their earlier incarnation Pass/Ages in addition to another fine project called ARS Phoenix who's album title and most likely Minuit Machine inspired their name change.
On this demo you get four ice-cold anti-bangers that would make the whitewalkers want to cut back on the killing for some Frankenstein's monster gymnastics on the dance-floor. The mood is chilling from start to finish with it's glacial synths, mechanical percussion and remote female vocals. I find it amazing how they balance apathy and cold indifference with vibrant energy and a heartbeat. It's kind of like the movie Warm Bodies where R goes from being a lethargic zombie to a human but instead of completing the transformation he's stuck in between. When I saw them live I sat against the wall not wanting to make eye contact with anyone as I absorbed their music but at home I feel compelled to move. The drum machine sets a steady rhythm for the somber keys and vocals to smoothly contradict. Opposites attract baby.
If you're into coldwave, darkwave, synthpop or industrial I strongly urge you guys to check out Violent Rain and their sibling ARS Phoenix. They have a lot of catchy jams and if you're into this scene you'll like what you hear.