Passenger Peru

Passenger Peru

Written by: BV on 26/01/2014 14:21:19

What we have here, is Passenger Peru’s self-titled debut album. The duo, consisting of Justin Gonzales and Justin Stivers, allegedly wrote the album over the course of a year in various Brooklyn basements and tranquil locations in the Alaskan wilderness. In that respect, I find them quite easy to link to another Brooklyn based project, namely Golden Animals, which I have previously mentioned my adoration for here on the site. That, however, is also where the similarities end, as Passenger Peru takes on quite a different approach to that of the desert-blues/psych of Golden Animals – namely a shoegaze inspired indie-rock approach with obvious psych influences.

Initially the album comes off to a rough start with “Your Hunger” – a track that drowns in its own overambitious neo-shoegaze soundscape, blending all the cacophony of the shoegaze genre with a sort of minimalistic rhythmic approach of the latter-day indie-rockers. Their attempts are futile however, as the soundscape – interesting as it may be – never really gets a foothold in my stream of conscience. This would, fortunately, only prove to be entirely true for this track. As the album progresses on to “Heavy Drugs” the soundscape picks up and the skillful songwriting of the two Justin’s shines through. This mellow, semi-ambient neo-psych track sends my mind towards the likes of MGMT as well as Foxygen as it melds the influences of a latter-day indie-rock together with the aesthetics of that sort of San Franciscan psych-pop that is so catchy that you can’t really keep yourself from smiling when listening to it.

Indeed, it is at these mellower, melodic tracks that Passenger Peru appear to be at their best. With “Weak Numbers”, Passenger Peru takes the listener on a skillfully crafted minimalist journey through the outskirts of the mind whilst never really coming off as magnificently spacy. The soundscape floats away, yet it is still entirely earthbound which is a genuinely nice contrast to many of the other genre-affiliated releases wherein the actual songs often drown in their own grandeur – making an otherwise strong track come off as unnervingly weak.

In short, Passenger Peru seem to have crafted a somewhat coherent, reasonably exciting debut album which follows in the general footsteps of the likes of Foxygen, MGMT and the like, without ever really aping their sound. I’ll be looking out for Passenger Peru in the coming time – I just might regret it if I happen to miss something new by them.


Download: Heavy Drugs, Weak Numbers, Dirt Nap
For the fans of: Foxygen, Psychic Ills, MGMT, Death Valley Sleepers
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.01.2014
Fleeting Youth Records

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