Hailing from Providence, Rhode Island, Mad Passenger is a recently formed alternative rock band, based on the songwriting of the trio’s lead singer Ian Arieta. In August of 2016, Mad Passenger released Goes Around Comes Around, the band’s first EP that was recorded in a one-bedroom apartment. Through harmonies, guitar, and vocals, Mad Passenger is poised to dramatically expand their audience through this album.
The record starts with the aptly named “Start Out Kids,” a lively tune led by an energetic acoustic guitar and a throbbing bass guitar that provides a solid foundation for Arieta to sing over. Arieta’s melodic, mellow voice is accompanied by layered vocal harmonies and riffs, and the minimalistic song slowly builds in dynamic intensity as electric guitar and steel guitar join the soundscape about halfway through the song. After this, the track slowly winds down, making for a very balanced and sensical song structure.
“Lines From a Show” continues in the same folk-tinged acoustic alternative rock vein as the album’s opener. Highly figurative and thought-provoking lyrics carry the weight of the song’s appeal, and towards the end of the song, an ambient droning synthesizer chord adds a novel facet to the otherwise mostly acoustic soundscape. Overall, this song is subdued and subtle, but there is just enough rhythm and variety to maintain the listener’s full attention.
The final song on this record is the EP’s title track, the first song to feature piano playing. Swelling steel guitars, steady guitar strumming and melodic vocals that reach high into Arieta’s range converge into a cohesive, compelling song that finishes the album off with a polished, articulate poem-like song that will last in the listener’s mind long after the final note is played.
As a whole, Goes Around Comes Around showcases Mad Passenger’s natural ability to write, perform and record music successfully, and the high quality that was achieved in just three songs is more than indicative of the potential the band has and will build upon in the years to come.
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