Passive Noise is the solo project of John Careaga. In addition to his studies he composes ambient music that is covered with hints of shoe gaze and post-rock. He recently released a short EP of five songs entitled Simple, But Not Simpler, which showcases his talents. The EP has inspired songs that while they may not burst with originality emulate other artists without being a blatant rip-off. The album was completely done by him and sounds much better then most DIY production does. All five songs borrow from the same palette but sound uniquely their own. Certain songs sound more ominous while others have a Persian-feel that are laced with various bleeps, glitches and. anomalies.
The first song “Rest Easy” which was probably my favorite contains all the elements that I am a complete sucker for. The distorted guitars that sound like The Jesus and Mary Chain and the atmospheric Explosions in the Sky type quality, which slowly builds the song to an apex. Lasting under three minutes I was hoping for more but didn’t get it. The second song felt a bit more traditional and new agey but luckily this was the only song that didn’t do it for me. “Casual” has drums that are upfront in the mix while a somewhat Persian sounding mist floats around in the mix. I thought the drums could have been softer which would have benefitted the song, perhaps taking the rock drum kit and transforming it into something more non-traditional. “Flight from Wonder” hits the right marks because the glitchy bleeps and blips work well with the distant pads. The album ends with “Landing” which only lasts about a minute and a half and sounds like an alien aircraft is landing on Earth. Passive Noise has some good ideas on this album that are implemented well and with a little bit of refinement could have been a great album. I will be keeping my eye on this artist it see how his skills progress.
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