Review: Crime of Passing – Winter ’19 (Wasted Tapes, Jan 17)

On this four track demo tape for their winter tour, Crime of Passing expands upon their brand of brooding, grimy coldwave with a strong sense of identity. Lead vocalist Andie Luman, who only contributed vocals to one track on the previous Dancing Prick EP, takes over all four here with her powerful yelps and wails, their sharp edges cutting through the shrouds of nocturnal gloom that drape each song. Crime of Passing’s style is undeniably indebted to those who came before, but there’s also an abundance of unique elements that cement them as an original creative force. Each track has a great sense of momentum, from the jittery delay feedback that propels “Midnight Underground” to the stumbling rhythm of the forceful guitar attacks on “The Tass.” The constant, deliberate flow of the songs also highlights the band’s ability to construct intricate instrumental interplay. In the first track, the guitar, bass, and synth all seem to pass the torch back and forth in terms of which leads the charge, interlocking atop the cymbal-less drums to produce swirling clouds of dreamy harmonies. Closer “Don’t Turn (to Me)” is perhaps the demo’s most straightforward pop song, but everything still sounds gritty, buried, off somehow, a contrast that, among other things, makes Crime of Passing my favorite band from the ol’ 513.

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