The Winter Passing has that great combination of having lead boy/girl vocalists. It’s a great weapon to have in a bands armoury and opens up a huge range of possibilities for a band to explore. Siblings Rob and Kate Flynn share the vocal duties for this Tipperary five piece’s EP which draws on the influences of The Replacements, Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World for an emo pop punk sound.
However the dual vocalist dynamic is not present on opening track 1990 which gradually builds towards some Arcade Fire style group vocals. Its marching rhythm flirts with becoming potentially epic, but ends short of reaching that point. Crooks first displays the twin vocals which have a lot of appeal but musically the song doesn’t have a truly memorable hook to build upon the combination. This is a similar issue on Gold Blend Part 1, where the lead guitar playing is technically sound but the focus is more on creating a full-bodied riff. The song would have benefited from more musical dynamics as the guitar riffs lack subtly with few noticeable changes in pitch and it comes across very monotone.
The final track on the EP Feels Like starts with a striking vocal from Kate Flynn. It immediately jumps out at the listener and the singing style has a piercing clear tone. With the intertwining swapping of vocalists and its unexpected change of pace it is the standout track on the EP. Production wise, the EP is inclined towards a glossy and pristine style. These songs would seem at right at home on MTV reality shows about privileged teenagers having a crisis about which outfit to buy their poodle.
The production style is the conundrum for the EP. On one hand the production brings out the clarity on the instruments and vocals but at the same time, this kind of emo punk is best when it has an emotional punch to it; yet that is lost in the making of the ‘Scrapbook’ EP. It ends up feeling as sterile as a disinfected kitchen which is disappointing, when the indivudual components within the band promised much more.