Album Review: The Winter Passing – A Different Space of Mind

It started with a trickle but is now approaching a deluge. Bands from this little corner of the world are currently doing a fine job after pitching up on US indies – Milk Teeth, Neck Deep and Moose Blood all instantly spring to mind. The latest to chance their arm – Dublin’s The Winter Passing, who’ve pitched up with FITA over here and 6131 over there – is the most intriguing yet.

Yet it’s easy to see the attraction of The Winter Passing. Edgy yet melodious, their indie-tinged pop-punk is packed with hooks and heart. Duelling vocals between brother sister pair Rob and Kate Flynn add a whole other dimension to the group’s sound and sets them apart from their similarly sounding peers.

Throw in a heavy dose of lyrical irony and biting cynicism and you have the makings of a band on the cusp of something spectacular.

Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice though is just how great ‘A Different Space of Mind’ sounds. Bob Cooper and Aiden Cunningham have done a stellar job in ensuring all the subtleties and nuances and flourishes stand out and it really brings ‘A Different Space of Mind’ to life. The drums on ‘Flowerpot’ sounds like exploding bombs, while the loud quiet dynamic of ‘The Fever’ is wonderfully realised and executed and the delicate xylophone on ‘Penny Chains’ sparkle, for example.

So ‘A Different Space of Mind’ sounds great, but The Winter Passing also thought to include some killer songs too. The glorious ‘Bottle Green’ is the pick of the bunch – a rip-roaring, no-frills pop-punk anthem in the vein of The Get Up Kids which could light up any autumnal evening, while the driving and hugely infectious ‘Daisy’ highlights the brilliant vocal interplay between the Flynns.

In these up tempo moments, The Winter Passing are really at their best. Slower, more considered efforts such as the title track and ‘Creak’ (which is somewhat lyrically overwrought) lack the same impact. While they’re not bad songs – in fact far from it – they just don’t have the punch of the more immediate cuts and serve to slow the album down.

That said, The Winter Passing have now found themselves on the same label as the likes of Dads, Hemingway and Better Off (Stateside at least). Not only do they fit in perfectly, with ‘A Different Space of Mind’ they’ve unleashed an album that could well become a future classic for the label. It’s certainly on a par with Dads’ ‘Pretty Good’ and Better Off’s ‘(I Think) I’m Leaving’, and in delivering such an assured debut full-length, you couldn’t really ask for anything more.

4.5/5

‘A Different Space of Mind’ by The Winter Passing is released on 18th September on FITA Records and 6131 Records.

The Winter Passing links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)

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