Alternative rock artist Passaro did the reverse of what a lot of artists do, and moved away from his hometown of Los Angeles, to make his base in Birmingham, Alabama. His first release under the Passaro name, ‘Anguish’ is a 6 track EP, and was released on January 12.
This isn’t Passaro’s first rodeo however; previously he performed under the name of Bird, during which time he worked with many talented instrumentalists, such as drummer Michael Miley, from stadium rock band, Rival Sons, and bassist Greg Coates, both of with whom he formed the trio Bird3. They had the opportunity to work with Grammy award winning producer Richard Dashut, as well as the magnificently talented Nick DiDdia, who’s worked with Bruce Springsteen, and Rage Against The Machine. Their brand of pop rock, which went against the mainstream, attracted the attention of many record companies, and led to their signing with Immergent Records, and their song, ‘Forgot Your Name’, featuring on the ‘Van Wilder’ soundtrack.
Flashing forward to 2019, and Bird – now Passaro – has returned to what he loves most, making music that inspires people. Birmingham, Alabama, is still a place where the battle with inequality continues to rage, and so he wants his music to make a change, to teach the importance of celebrating our differences.
‘Anguish’ opens with the title track, and immediately we are swept away by the piano and steady pounding of the heartbeat like rhythm. It’s as though the music entirely reflects the song; there is anguish in the guitars, bass, and continuing piano and percussive beats. Second track, ‘Done With You’, is equally sombre, with a Nine Inch Nails vibe about it. ‘Just Breathe’, the third song on the EP, opens with an appealing a capella vocal, before channelling another classic band, Red Hot Chilli Peppers. ‘Anguish’ is certainly an appealing record, there’s something in it for everyone.
‘Piece Of Cake’, the fourth track, shows off the musical versatility of Passaro, it’s as if he can emulate any artist he wants while at the same time retaining his own style. Overall on this EP we’ve got a feel of the previously mentioned NIN, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but we can also feel influences of the likes of Linkin Park, Killers, Foo Fighters…whether or not any of this is deliberate, accidental, or incidental, is immaterial: ‘Anguish’ is a great listen.