Like most of America, my weekend was spent getting schooled in the history of rap with Straight Outta Compton. No matter what genre you favor, you have to tip your hat to how great that movie is, and be taken aback by the story as a whole. The west coast is truly an inspirational place and while N.W.A isn’t what caused former members of I Am Avalanche and Crime In Stereo to form their sound when they came together as Pass Away late last year, it was the punk scene that hailed from that area that did. Coming from two well respected bands and having a clear path of what style they wanted to convey, they set out and recorded Hey Death.
It’s easy to hear where they pulled from right from the start with “Quick Fix.” The easy to learn track screams NOFX as does “Comatose,” but then the band goes into what I can only imagine is the pop punk version of a ballad with “Currituck Sound” and the stand out “Monster.” Style aside, what’s to be praised with Hey Death is the relatable lyrics. Those not really feeling their life will find solace in “The Blue Hour,” while those feeling a little ostracised and over it can crank up “Fuck Outta Here.”
Whether it was rap or punk, the west coast’s style has been influencing artists for decades, and it’s still happening. Just last year a group of friends came together and took their love of punk from the Golden coast and made a record that could be mistaken as from that area. Pass Away set out with a clear mission and succeeded on high marks with Hey Death. The digital version has been out since February but it will be officially released August 28th on Black Numbers, so check it.