By ROB DUGUAY Punk rock is at its best when it can sonically sock you in the senses. Your ears hear the electricity coming from the riffs and rhythms while your body has a tingly sensation that gets you all riled up. I'm not talking about that pop stuff
Punk rock is at its best when it can sonically sock you in the senses. Your ears hear the electricity coming from the riffs and rhythms while your body has a tingly sensation that gets you all riled up.
I’m not talking about that pop stuff – I’m talking about the kind of punk that makes you feel like you can take on the world while becoming a singular representation of a mosh pit.
That’s what Providence’s Passionplay have going on with their self-titled debut EP, which they self-released on Oct. 18. Guitarist Alan Hague, bassist Joshua Connell and drummer Matt O’Brien bring a thrashing sound while vocalist Paul Turillo screams at the top of his lungs.
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Dan Sawyer and Marc Poulin at The Chamber Studios in Warwick during this past spring and summer. The sessions went very well and the consistent sound quality present within the record is the evidence.
“Recording at The Chamber was rad, I was shocked with how well those recordings turned out, and how pleasant Dan and Marc were to work with,” Turillo says on the making of the EP. “I’m so used to doing the DIY thing where your friend or bandmate records your band in a basement and you have to bang it all out in a day or so. It was nice to actually have the time to go over ideas and try some things out. Marc has the patience of a saint, those two did an amazing job recording and mixing.”
“I'll just add that Matt [O’Brien] and I wrote and recorded an entire album of material in the fall of 2018 for another project before our singer disappeared,” Hague adds. “We salvaged two of those songs, ‘The Dead Space’ and ‘The Return,’ for this EP. Also, we recorded the instrumentals in the second week of March and then we were all on lockdown for several months. Eventually, around June and July, Paul cranked out the vocals and then Dan got to mixing and mastering in September. I’ve recorded with Dan for over 12 years now with every band I've ever been in except my old high school punk band, and I think this is my favorite production of his. He and Marc really helped make these songs hit hard the way they ought to. We’re all pretty proud of them, and we can’t wait for live shows to be a thing again, so we can play out.”
There’s a barrage from Hague’s guitar and O’Brien’s drumming that adorns “Abaddon.” Then when the downbeats occur with the shift in chords towards the end, the emphasis gets taken to a new level. “Stumbling” has spine-tingling riffs that accent Turillo’s angst in excellent fashion. It also has a borderline death metal aesthetic due to the presence of guttural vocals. The most complete song on the EP is definitely “My Odyssey.” It’s the only track that’s longer than three minutes and it’s a great example of the versatility of tone within the guitar riffs.
It’s fairly obvious that a lot of folks are on edge these days. Whether it’s the divisiveness within our society, millions being out of work due to COVID-19 and various aspects of life on the verge of collapse, sometimes you just need to turn up the volume on a record and let loose. Consider Passionplay’s debut EP to be exactly what you’ve been looking for to supply this emotional catharsis.
Stream and purchase it via the quartet’s Bandcamp page at www.passion-play.bandcamp.com and prepare to immerse yourself in the loudness.