Premiere + :UNDERPASS “Red Reflection” LP – Review

In June, dark postpunk band Underpass’s sophomore Red Reflection LP will be released on the band’s No Sun Recordings label. Red Reflection is one of the most noteworthy dark postpunk LPs, from the newer crop of bands, of the modern era — for reasons I’ll explain below.

Two years ago, Underpass released the incredibly well-received Assimilation mini-LP on Desire Records, and were interviewed on CVLT Nation shortly thereafter. Red Reflection features the same lineup as their debut LP; the Robert Smith-like vocals of Alexander Miranda are as prominent as ever, and he has to be one of the best singers in the current postpunk world. Miranda’s vocals – which also remind of Mark Wilson of The Mob, too – are one of the highlights of the band.

It’s hard to believe that Underpass formed only 3 years ago, in 2013. Then again, if you look at the careers of bands as diverse as Joy Division and Minor Threat, within their 3 year timespan those bands did all they’ve ever been known for as well. Underpass’s new Red Reflection LP sees the Vancouver, B.C. postpunk band playing at a more mature, relaxed, and introspective pace. Similarities to Pornography-era The Cure, Modern Eon, Wipers, Glorious Din, Lack of Knowledge, and The Mob abound – and all in a good way.

 

underpass Red Reflection
 

This is a great dark postpunk LP, played by musicians that obviously feel comfortable playing with each other, much like – in fact – One Last Wish, the old DC post-Rites of Spring post-hardcore band. Sonically, this is very akin to a The Mob-meets-The-Cure project, but with some hints of punk energy a la the old DC Revolution Summer stuff. Just fantastic. Alexander’s vocals are very lush and evocative. His vocals get compared to Robert Smith’s a lot, but that seems very lazy to me – he seems more like Mark Wilson of The Mob, for whatever that’s worth. The guitar playing takes some cues from Joy Divsion’s Bernard Sumner, but not always.
Red Reflection” is just a great postpunk album. You could play any song on “shuffle” and be pleasantly surprised, whatever track came up. I don’t know how I could give any band any higher recommendation than this.

Indeed, if you are a fan of The Mob’s more introspective stuff, this is for you. (The fans of The Mob’s more aggressive, punk side would be well to check out Seattle’s Arcane.) And if you are a fan of Pornograpy-era The Cure, of course you won’t be disappointed, either. Underpass will be embarking on a tour this Summer with fellow Pacific Northwest postpunkers Soft Kill.

 

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The Author

Oliver Sheppard

Oliver Sheppard

Oliver Sheppard is a writer from Texas. From 2005 until 2011 he did the Radio Schizo hardcore punk podcast, which was also on 89.3 KAOS Radio FM in Austin. From 2006 until 2010 he ran the Cultpunk.com website. He studied Sociology and Social Work at the University of Texas. He does a lot of music related stuff.

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