Release DetailsLABEL Goodfellow Records
RELEASED ON 10/10/2006
The Fierce Urgency Of Now
posted on 10/2006 By:
Even before I checked out their band page at the Goodfellow site, their own website, or MySpace page, I had a vague idea of what I was getting into with this band. However, Philly’s Passion aren’t anorexic clones donning all-black clothes, enshrouded in asymmetrical haircuts, and spouting tales of white upper/middleclass, privileged woe. Looking more like misplaced members from a college football team, these five burly, scruffy faced kids hit on topics far more uncomfortable than what a casual listener might be prepared for. Although the subject matter of their material might be a bit more provocative than the average metalcore band, it’s performed with such a tasteful sense of purpose without sounding preachy that I can’t help but be pleasantly entertained by The Fierce Urgency Of Now, especially since the music itself is so damn good.
It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a band of this nature that sounds unique even upon the first listen, while not exactly redefining the genre at all. There is definitely no new ground broken with Passion’s somewhat technical and frenzied take on uptempo metalcore, but things are neither haphazard nor dull over the course of this 12-track beast. The vocals are firmly locked into a raspy, harsh mid-ranged delivery which rarely deviates towards death growls or clean smooth passages, colliding with terse metal-charged hardcore in a nearly constant state of thundering chugs, choppy tremolo picking, and razor sharp non-Swedish melody. The entire album is a fight between lung killer Kenny Harris and the rest of this highly talented band for supremacy, and what a spectacular battle it is.
The success of The Fierce Urgency Of Now is how the internal egging-on of the band members results in such a determined album. This is a highly personable disc, which is also a rarity, and the songwriting teases at many more extreme elements here and there without diving too deeply into such caustic waters with both feet. The songcraft itself is cohesive even at the most technical points, and as a fairly fast-paced CD, nothing blurs past in such a way that anything becomes too identical or nondescript. This isn’t the catchiest toe tapping stuff in the world, but what holds it together is the fact that while it is playing, Passion dominates the room with an undeniably positive presence and unpretentious attitude. I sense a future headliner with this band. They definitely have style and good artistic taste, and don’t sound like clones of anyone I can think of off hand. Even the ripping production job yells ‘quality & integrity’.
If you’re not a fan of such constantly grating vocals, if you get three tracks into this without making an icky face, I’d be very surprised. If switching gears from one speed to the next on a dime isn’t your thing, you might be able to handle this a little better since the segues are very smooth, rhythmically speaking, and the songwriting doesn’t lose itself in the desire to do too much in too small of a space. Aggressive as all hell, but still retaining a strong feeling of common sense and meaning by staying in a blue collar hardcore frame of mind, Goodfellow made a good decision by adding Passion to their ranks, for they’re a perfect fit for the label and their already corrosive roster (Cursed, Intronaut, Spitfire to name a few). Converge-the-next they are not, but strictly as a debut album, I really can’t highlight a single aspect that needs serious, or even moderate improvement on The Fierce Urgency Of Now. A very good first step for a band playing a familiar kind of modern technical hardcore.
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