"Those who feel there aren't enough women in rock who actually rock will want to take note of the Passive Aggressives. [I]t's hard to think of anyone on the modern music scene who compares with the Passive Aggressives."
-- Greg Schwartz (Bullzeye Magazine)
Few bands are more aptly named than The Passive Aggressives, striking at the unresolved conflict inspiring their sound, mixing aspects of Progressive Pop and Alternative Metal. Sweet-sounding melodies draw the listener in, a soft voice coos and then the hammer comes down delivering dynamics at their extreme. The Bay Area based quartet's full-length album, "Conflict Resolution" is like nothing currently out there -- and they want you to know it.
Consisting of Keren Gaiser (vocals), Jose Santiago (guitar), Damian Lynch (bass) and Tim Dayner (drums), the Passive Aggressives may be split between styles past (Veruca Salt/Primus) and present (Mars Volta/Audioslave), but their story is pure internet-era -- meeting through ads on Craigslist. Keren came to San Francisco after Israeli military service and a solo pop career which included multiple CDs and shows in the US, Europe and the Middle East. Keren searched initially for a backup band, but instead found Jose, Damian and Tim from the Alt-Metal band Feral Moan. Although vastly different in musical backgrounds, the alignment merged unique pieces to create an original sound.
While the backbone of The Passive Aggressives’ may be sugar-coated jabs at government, religion and media, "Conflict Resolution’s" song writing ventures further to more personal battles like guilt, isolation, and suicide. The album begins with an anti-love song, “All We’ve Got Is Now,” showing woman’s strenth in the face of a breakup, followed by a punk rock anthem stab at mainstream media in "Soundtrack To The Voices In My Head.” “Violeta,” delivers an anti-war ballad attacking the fuel behind it. The lyrics are designed to exist on more than one level where meanings shift with subsequent listens. The title track, “Conflict Resolution” could be the story of the band itself or of a passionate love affair, and "One More Look" is either a love song or a statement bombasting racism. The group is not happy making messages clear cut, even the passion charged cover of The Turtle’s “Happy Together” has lyrical variation that shifts the meaning away from the straight forward love song. “Slice It Away,” tells the story of failed suicide attempts and the downward spiral of self-destruction. "Don't Want To Be You," compares the loneliness caused by an absent father against the personal guilt of abandoning one's own family. Says Keren, "its about me being grumpy at my old man." The extreme dynamics are still there as "World of Compromise" builds from an acoustic guitar folk riff to a climax of full metal angst detailing, as Damian says, "an Ode to Bill Gates and the dog eat dog corporate culture."
While the lyrics may never be pinned down, it is the Passive Aggressives' virtuosic playing that announces itself immediately to each listener. The rhythm section of Damian and Tim simultaneously steadies and fuels the band, so that Jose can mix severely melodic explosive playing, and that Keren has a foundation to "Tear the roof off of the building."
Their debut EP is still getting airplay on college stations across the US and Canada, The Passive Aggressives are ready to gain an audience the old-fashioned way; face to face and show by show, overwhelming audiences with their fun, adrenaline fueled live show. "Conflict Resolution" currently climbs the college charts, and their videos have hundreds of thousands of YouTube views. They have been as far east as Austin to rock out for South by South West and are booking on tour dates to support "Conflict Resolution."
Keren Gaiser Vocals
Jose Santiago Guitar
Damian Lynch Bass
Tim Dayner Drums
15 Song Album "Conflict Resolution" releases July 2008.
1 Song Single "Lulla-Bye" released February 14th. 2008.
5 Song EP is RELOADED -- loaded on 187 colleges stations and streaming on multiple internet station.
Soundtrack To The Voices In My Head
All We've Got Is Now
Slice It Away
Don't Want To Be You
One More Look
Evil Clown Song
Some of the best music currently out on this planet
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New Music Exclusive Spotlight The Passive Aggressives If you want to hear some of the best music ...New Music Exclusive Spotlight The Passive Aggressives
If you want to hear some of the best music currently out on this planet, then The Passive Aggressives will completely blow you away. You will enjoy every beat, note, vocal, and everything else in between with their melodious tune and catchy lyrics.
-- Isaac Davis Jr
Those who feel there aren't enough women in rock who actually rock
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Those who feel there aren't enough women in rock who actually rock will want to take note of the Pas...Those who feel there aren't enough women in rock who actually rock will want to take note of the Passive Aggressives, out of the San Francisco Bay Area. The quartet has a rocking, bass-heavy sound that is a refreshing throwback to the alt funk/rock/metal scene of the late '80s and early '90s. While their sound recalls certain artists from that era, it's hard to think of anyone on the modern music scene who compares with the Passive Aggressives.
Vocalist Keren Gaiser, who once served in the Israeli military, has some stellar pipes that sound great stretching over power trio grooves which provide a launching pad for her to belt it out, but don't force her to scream. The name of the band perfectly captures her vocal style, and it's an alluring one. Guitarist Jose Santiago has got chops and melody and really knows how to use a wah-wah pedal, while bassist Damian Lynch and drummer Tim Dayner have a tight chemistry.
As might be expected from a Bay Area band, the Passive Aggressives aren't shy about putting their political thoughts into song. "Evil Clown Song" offers an interesting screed against the current administration and "the two-party system in general," according to Gaiser. The song has lyrics such as "He's your bad dream / The carnival is in town / To charge your nightmares / Keep that frown upside down" and clever commentary on the horse race of American politics with lines like "Have a balloon / It's a treat from me to you / And a stuffed animal / The gifts will bring you through / Terror-go-round / Horses up and down / It's never ending: the circus goes home with you."
"Sweet Lisa" offers more of a danceable groove, but keeps things rocking in a fresh and funky way. Santiago delivers some catchy riffs that go beyond standard funk guitar to propel the song higher and higher, while Lynch delivers some Les Claypool-worthy low end.
The only shame about Reloaded is that it's just an EP, with only five songs that leave the ear eager to hear more. The band sounds like they have plenty of creative juices flowing, so there should be a full-length release in 2008.
Reviewed by Greg M. Schwartz
This is the real deal and I love it.
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Hating on the Bush administration and Republicans in general is quite in vogue now. So Evil Clown is...Hating on the Bush administration and Republicans in general is quite in vogue now. So Evil Clown isnt a real surprise lyrically, especially from a band from the lefty San Francisco Bay Area. But this funky quartet bounces and weaves from cliches with their bass-laden alternative rock sound. You can tell this is one helluva good live band as their songs just jump right out of this album. The group isnt putting up a facade, this is the real deal and I love it.
The Passive Aggressives give the feeling that something is about big and angry is about to erupt.
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After seeing the title of this post, you might have thought that you were going to be reading about ...After seeing the title of this post, you might have thought that you were going to be reading about some sort collaborative project between Primus and Veruca Salt. That would be really cool, but you're getting something that's just as good and with just as hard a rock 'n roll punch: The Passive Aggressives. Plus, it's something new and unique, despite the similarities to the previously mentioned bands, which makes the music all that more interesting to listen to. The Passive Aggressives give the feeling that something is about big and angry is about to erupt.
There certainly is a lot truth in that last statement. When you listen to bass-laden, crunch fests such as "Tool Shed" and "Evil Clown" on full blast, it's not that different an experience from standing next to a rumbling volcano that's getting ready to spew hot, crimson lava all over some poor, unsuspecting villagers. Let's just hope that doesn't actually happen at their concerts. Audiences tend not to appreciate being covered in molten lava.
But as I was saying, "Tool Shed" and "Evil Clown" are good songs filled with (passive) aggressive alt rock rhythms. The bass line in "Tool Shed" is especially reminiscent of Les Claypool's style, which is always nice to hear. The other thing that really struck me about "Tool Shed" is the chorus. When I first heard the chorus and the male vocalist came in and started singing, I couldn't tell what the hell he was saying. It sounded like he was speaking a foreign language, like Spanish or something, but it still sounded really cool within the context of the song. After listening to the song a second time, I realized that the male vocalist was saying, "Back by the tool shed," but it still sounded weird and foreign despite the fact that it was English. Now for some reason, I just think that's awesome. I think I just like the idea that the singing became so much a part of the frenzied pace of the song that it seemed like the words were starting to get lost in the furor, but the raw emotion and the meaning behind the music still remained.
Compared to "Tool Shed," "Evil Clown" takes it down a notch, but is still a fiery sonic assault, no doubt. And despite the fact that "Evil Clown" doesn't feel quite as fast paced as "Tool Shed" it seems to have a more maniacal delivery, which makes for an interesting listen. In fact, if you've ever seen the movie Killer Klowns from Outer Space, a "classic" B-movie, then I can picture a music video with clips from that movie set to "Evil Clown." There's a worthwhile project for anyone with some free time and a little video editing know-how.
But these two songs are just a taste of the quality stuff you can find by the Passive Aggressives. If I were you I would keep and eye out for future releases from this band. But for now you can buy The Passive Aggressives EP at CD Baby or iTunes. And if you're in or near the San Francisco area, you can see them at The Knockout on Friday, March 30.
Liquid, almost twangy female vocals front funky, hard rock song constructions
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Liquid, almost twangy female vocals front this rough and ready dry-punk outfit. The contrast catches...Liquid, almost twangy female vocals front this rough and ready dry-punk outfit. The contrast catches the ear; the funky, hard rock song constructions and Raggedy-Ann-in-the-gutter grit retain it.
"Evil Clown Song" sounds exactly like you'd think, while "Sweet Lisa" is a dark offspring of Heart's "Magic Man." I enjoyed the nearly tuneless "Casino" too. Lead singer Keren Gaiser's back-and-forths with the other musicians' shouted male vocals are fun, and guitarist Jose Santiago lays down bluesy licks over the rhythm section's punked-out pounding.
Altogether the musicianship on this five-song EP is fabulous, and the production is clever, up front, and crystal clear - I really enjoyed the sound of the CD even when I wasn't paying attention to the vocals. This is a highly promising young band.
Written by Jon Sobel
It's fresh, different, and takes a stand.
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This self-titled release is also the debut for the San Francisco Bay area band The Passive Aggressiv...This self-titled release is also the debut for the San Francisco Bay area band The Passive Aggressives. The band decided to stay close to home, choosing to record the EP at San Francisco's Hyde Street Studios.
The band's music has been described as everything from "happy hardcore" to "libido rock." Whatever label you want to throw on it, the bottom line is that it's fresh, different, and takes a stand.
As their name suggests, this release has a schizophrenic side, with song's tempos changing from melodic to all out guitar lead aggression and back in a heart beat. This isn't a bad thing though, as it keeps your attention.
The weighty subjects of gambling and prostitution are dealt with on the first two tracks. Its track three, "Evil Clown Song," where the real fireworks begin. The song starts off with a horror film-like clown laugh set against an ominous bass line, to create what can best be described as a freaky sound.
When asked about the meaning behind the song, band said, "It is about our current administration, but it's even more about dissatisfaction with the two-party system in general."
The band is currently touring on the West Coast throughout March; then they will be heading to the midwest and east coast in April. They also have plans to hit the studio for a full-length release this summer.
This release offers a lot of musical meat to chew on, and pushes the envelope. Which is a good thing.
You won't be disappointed.
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The Passive Aggressives are really fun sounding band indicative of the avante guarde alternative fun...The Passive Aggressives are really fun sounding band indicative of the avante guarde alternative funk/rock/metal scene of the late 80's/early 90's. What really stands out for me is the musicianship between the bass player, the guitar player, and drummer. The addition of a soothingly gritty female vocalist adds more power to the bands very mature sound. I found myself particularly enjoying the second track "Tool Shed," which ultimately reminded me of Primus with a twist of Prong. All in all, the Passive Aggressives were not exactly what I was expecting, however, I found myself very much enjoying the originality and authenticity of this very catchy band. So if you happen to see them on a bill anytime soon, stop and give them some love and ask them for a copy of this demo, you won't be disappointed.
- Josh Joesten
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Oh, yeah. Right. So you probably expect to read something about this really good Oakland grunge rock...Oh, yeah. Right. So you probably expect to read something about this really good Oakland grunge rock band called the Passive Aggressives. Fine. Whatever ... "What happens when an Israeli solo artist hooks up with a funky hard rock trio composed of a Puerto Rican, a Californian and a Coloradan?" asks drummer Tim Dayner. "You get the Passive Aggressives, where music styles and cultures collide to form something extraordinary." The band chose the name on Super Bowl Sunday in 2006 after making endless lists of names during many passive-aggressive discussions, some arm wrestling and a few fistfights. Three out of four voted on the name that describes not only the dominant character flaw of the band members but also the dynamic of their sound. "It's the unique blend of expressing aggression in passive ways with beautiful melodies and heart-pounding instrumentation," they say. "It's the eternal struggle between wanting to create beauty and sonically destroying it."
I certainly want to hear more.
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THE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVES - Reloaded (www.deadfishrecords.com) Along with having a great name, the Pas...THE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVES - Reloaded (www.deadfishrecords.com) Along with having a great name, the Passive Aggressives put forth an interesting collection of styles on this five song EP. The opening "Evil Clown Song" features cheesy, but not really annoying, maniacal laughter before a stomping drum beat and pulsating bass line kicks in, morphing the song into a pounding mass. Vocalist Keren Gaiser, a former member of the Israeli military, has a voice that can be both alluring and intimidating. (Not surprising-do you know some of the things the Israeli military does!?) The twangy "Sweet Lisa" is a vast departure from the opener, but the honky-tonk groove displays the talents of Jose Santiago. The band really hits its apex on "Casino", an incredibly infectious tribute to the fun and horror of gambling. The concluding effort, "Tool Shed" is the most intriguing of the five tracks here. With her voice gruff and breathy, Gaiser sings a song of prostitution from the perspective of the woman who is ultimately controlling the simple-minded john, although the guy will go to his grave believing that he was the dominant figure. This was a bold step for this band, and clearly allowed a fleeting glimpse of their intellectual as well as musical strength. I do not know if I am completely sold, but I certainly want to hear more.
You're in for something different
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THE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVES send their five song mini monster "Reloaded". From the opening 'Evil Clown S...THE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVES send their five song mini monster "Reloaded". From the opening 'Evil Clown Song' you know your in for something different, a bizarre mix of rock and stomp that throws with the best of 'em. Keren and the boys have got it going on and then some, let us know when you hit the city.
Reviewed by Starr Tucker in the Fall issue of the New
York Waste Newspaper and is now up on the web
Original set one or two 45 minute sets. We can expand on that to play up to three sets if we include cover songs.
Original Song List includes the new 15 song Album "Conflict Resolution": Conflict Resolution, Soundtrack To The Voices In My Head, Evil Clowd Song, Inc., All We've Got Is Now, Slice it away, One More Look, I Don't Want To Be You, Perfect, Not Perfect, Lulla-Bye, Happy Together, Rain, Violetta, and Believe.
5 songs from the First EP "Reloaded: Sweet Lisa, Tool Shed, Casion, Todo Mal and Evil Clown Song.
Additional unreleased songs: Singular, Stigma, Vices, Try, Adjustment, She Said, Let me go.
2-3 additional songs are works in progress.
A variety of covers including: Immigrant Song, Just a Girl, Happy Together, The Mountain Song, White Rabbit and more.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.