One of the consistently surprising things about working in this city – although I dunno, maybe it’s the same everywhere – is that despite how small the music scene is here, with hardly any venues and very few promoters or labels, occasionally someone like this will appear with dozens of songs, and yet I’ve never heard him play, never heard anyone else talk about his stuff, and I don’t even recognise his face from what I can tell from the pictures on Bandcamp.
That sounds dumb, but it’s highly unusual for a new band to appear in Edinburgh and for me not to have heard at least something about them, even if it is just the vague familiarity of the drummer’s previous band.
In this case, I have to confess, there is nothing. No idea who the guy is, and never heard anyone talk about his stuff, and yet there are dozens of songs on the Passion Pusher Bandcamp page, all uploaded in the last few months. Consequently, I don’t know quite where to start with this stuff. There’s loads of it, it’s lo-fi and utterly shambolic, but really good.
The vocals on the one EP which was emphasised when I was contacted – Your a Loser – are so low in the mix as to be virtually pointless, and the rest of the time they tend to be pretty washy and indecipherable. That doesn’t mean they don’t sound good however. With the unfortunate exception of the aforementioned EP the disinterested, slurred delivery actually fits really well with the general sense of fuzzy malaise.
What Your a Loser Does have, which is not as evident elsewhere, is a real sense of ferocity. Other songs are more downbeat and disinterested, but the five songs on this EP are fierce garage rockers, and if you could hear the actual singing, they sound like they might well be really good pop tunes, not least because there’s more than enough in the rest of the stuff here to suggest plenty of talent.
This is lo-fi guitar music chloroformed by what sounds like a lack of confidence, but instead of killing the music, that seems to lend it magic of a sort. It embraces slacker delivery and lo-fi aesthetics so completely that its flaws become its highlights, and for all I get the feeling it may be rather hiding behind its determined lack of polish, in amongst the fragments and assorted bits and pieces which are cobbled together on the Bandcamp site there are loads of great moments and lovely tunes, few longer than two minutes.
It’s hard to say what someone does from here, however. This kind of music is unlikely to ever crack the charts, or even really bother the tastemakers of the nation, but I think it’s really, really strong, and I don’t think I am the only one who would say so. Some of the guitar sounds in particular are fantastic. Either way, it’s about time more folk heard about this stuff because although Mr. Gage may have managed to hide away even within his own city, I think it would be a real waste if that remained the case. Even if he never gets rich from it, more people should hear this. It’s awesome.More: passion pusher