Don't pass Passing Shadows
By the mid to late 90s, the musical sands were shifting in punk rock land yet again. The resultant ennui of a scene saturated with bands either vociferously sermonizing on their politically correct values or rocketing listeners into a sugar coma through their saccharin pop anthems (mostly) about girls gave birth to bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Sense Field, Hot Water Music, Knapsack, The Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World and eventually would lead to that musical nadir known as Emo. For a time, though, these sounds were fresh, without the weight of labels, and these bands were consistently spinning in my home and in my car. And perhaps it is the Siren of nostalgia beguiling me here, but Eau Claire’s Passing Shadows share a kinship in sound with those days. The music is difficult to categorize while at the same time it feels familiar. It is brimming with the exuberance of youth, from the charm of the “not-always-in-tune-with-the-rest-of-the-music” vocals (think J Church or Wig Out era Dag Nasty) to the “hair’s-breath-of-falling-off-the-rails” drumming to the catchy and urgent melody lines of the guitars (check out the Buzzcock’s “Airwaves Dreams” moment of song “27 Percent Satisfied”). And you can check the band out for yourself this Saturday October 3rd at the House of Rock and name drop your own semi-obscure band references.