Lungfish - Pass & Stow LPDischord Records
It took several recordings, but Lungfish finally establish musical equilibrium on their third Dischord release, Pass and Stow. For the first time, the vocal work of Daniel Higgs doesn't dominate the band's mix. Asa Osborne's guitars finally get the sonic boost necessary to compete, and this 1994 offering makes great strides because of it. There are plenty of repetitive dirges and abstract lyrics, but Pass & Stow retains the hardcore energy that defines Lungfish's early, less-experimental work. There is some post-rock foreshadowing of the group's Indivisible transition, but the buzz-saw guitar sounds are staunchly metallic and traditional by extension. The Eastern drones of "Astronaut's Prayer" are a nice touch up that's reflected many times in the Lungfish discography without novelty or excessiveness. Other highlights include the epic "Computer" and the restrained spookiness of "In Praise of Amoral Phenomena." With its many artistic and sonic developments, Pass & Stow signifies the creative emergence of Lungfish, one of America's most interesting '90s art/punk practitioners.