This ‘Winter Passing’ article was written by Gavin Wells, a GIGsoup contributor
The Winter Passing are an upcoming indie-punk five-piece from Ireland. Over the last few years they have had a handful of smaller releases, including their EP, ‘Scrapbook’ from 2013. The band is now preparing for the release of their debut album, ‘A Different Space of Mind’ through FITA Records.
One of the first things that you will notice when jumping into the opening track, ‘The Fever’ is the disappointingly low recording quality, which is consistent throughout the entire album. While this is not the band’s fault, it is worth noting as it does affect the overall enjoyment of the album. Despite this, ‘The Fever’ itself is still an enjoyable song, with some catchy guitar riffs and a driving drum beat throughout.
There is a bit of an awkward transition into ‘Penny Chains’; though it is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it situation, it is still rather unpleasant for those who do catch it. Once again, it feels like a problem with the album’s mix more than anything else. ‘Penny Chains’ is actually quite a pleasant song, with some nice vocal harmonies in the chorus, thoughtful guitar melodies and a surprise appearance of a glockenspiel in the back of the mix.
However, the LP’s third track, ‘Flowerpot’ is where things start to get a bit bumpy. It starts off promisingly enough with a soft guitar melody before the bass, drums and vocals join in. The verses keep the tone of the song rather light, with soft vocals and minimal guitars. It’s when the song reaches the chorus that things get messy. The vocals are about half of a second out of time with the rest of the band at points, making it considerably off-putting. To top it off, it sounds like the vocals were rushed and possibly recorded in one take.
The album picks up the pace again with the energetic, upbeat and appropriately named ‘Daisy’. This song is easily the highlight of the entire album, with its catchy Guitar riffs, mesmerising vocal harmonies and fast-paced drums. There is even a brief appearance of a keyboard. It is easy to picture this song as the soundtrack to a summer road trip.
At track eight, we reach ‘Fruit & Gloom’, the lead single of the album. Ironically, this is the lowest point of the LP. It tries to go for a slow, dramatic sound, but ultimately fails to capture any real feeling of emotion in its melody or lyrics. It also doesn’t help that the drums are poorly mixed and stick out a little too much. The transition into the more energetic ‘Bottle Green’ is also alarmingly abrupt, as the tracks change over before ‘Fruit & Gloom’ fades out completely.
Thankfully, The Winter Passing‘s debut album ends on a high with the album’s title track, ‘A Different Space of Mind’. This song features some of the best vocals on the album, especially during the chorus. The song is also well structured, with a balance of slow, melodic sections that build up to faster, more energetic riffs that carry more weight behind them.
There is no doubting that The Winter Passing are a group of talented young musicians with lots of potential. The songwriting in this album is great, with some memorable melodies and well thought out vocal harmonies. Unfortunately, this album is let down by the poor sound quality. The overall recording and mix of ‘A Different Space of Mind’ feels rather questionable, with some blatant mistakes, from rough song transitions that don’t flow into each other, to crucial parts being mixed or recorded out of time without amendment. It makes the task of enjoying each song a bit more difficult and at times, unpleasant, which is a shame. ‘A Different Space of Mind’ is still worth a listen, but the aforementioned issues makes it hard to come back to.
‘A Different Space of Mind‘ is out on the 18th September 2015 via FITA Records