Passage is the kind of electro-new-wave-industrial-folk-hospital-waiting-room hope-hop that you can dance or die to. The self-produced Forcefield Kids is full of distorted lo-bit jiggy drums; chopped-up, backward harps and French horns; distinctive synths with envelopes and filters; acoustic guitars; playful, heavy words; and catchy-ass melodies. Passage capably references and blends a seemingly infinite library of influences. Who would have thought that someone could create a hardcore, new wave, melodious fast-raps record, with sweeter-than-candy indie-pop hooks? The Forcefield Kids is proudly and without apology a genre defying record that just about embodies “the anticon sound.”
The songs on The Forcefield Kids speak on: the educational system, the post-cold war cold war, the legacy of white oppressorship, Dr. Laura, childhood, child molestation, loneliness and longing. They are sung with hungry desperation and darkly humorous undertones. It is a middle school kid asking permission to sharpen his pencil, only to return to his seat and put his own eye out. On “Creature in the Classroom,” an unintentional anthem for disaffected youth, Passage bitterly revisits grade school misery with visceral lines like “Tin teeth, shin guard, first string rich kids get the indoor-soccer flat soles/special needs kids get the med-head puppet show at little round tables with grad school ass holes.” The record is filled with images of invalids, radiation, cold hospitals, lost love and dreaded, never ending Sunday afternoons filled with self-loathing regrets.
A highlight is the dark pop infection called “Old Aunt Mary,” sounding like something off Beck’s One Foot in the Grave; fresh for the second millennium, Passage sings: “I won’t ever sell you out, like a fish thrown back, in a double knit tweed and a bad men’s scent, but I’m in love with a defeatist and I’m wild for magazines. I’m not just some boy breathing down your neck, I’m absolutely the most important man in the world and my fucking kids will play two sports a piece.” There is God and Hell in this record, the guts of a dead or dying angel.
* free immediate download of mp3 files with vinyl purchase of this product