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Album Review: Passing Through Time

Wilfred N & The Grown Men
Passing Through Time
Zönik Music Productions

As nostalgic as many music scenes have become, with throwback acts making as big of waves as boundary pushing ones, it can be refreshing to hear nostalgic music by the very musicians who were making it in the first place. The aptly named Passing Through Time, the 10th album from Wilfred N & The Grown Men, wonderfully recalls and updates the sounds of 80’s new wave, rock and pop that immersed the band years ago. 

The group, helmed by Wilfred Kozub, has been active in Edmonton since the late 70’s, when the band first began making local (new) waves. While most throwback acts only encounter the music scenes they pay homage towards second hand, Passing Through Time has a sense of authenticity from actually being there. While the 80’s are very well represented throughout, this album sounds at home in 2017. Title track “Passing Through Time” is a piece of blissful pop that reaches its peak as twinkling, cascading synths and intertwining vocal lines vie for the listeners ear. “Pushing My Buttons” is nostalgic in the weirdest of ways, loaded with bleeps and bloops while remaining catchy as hell. Finishing off the album’s strongest streak is “33 Revolutions,” a track so dancy that James Murphy could rip it off for the new LCD Soundsystem album and nobody would notice (that one hurt to write).

In an age when nostalgia is king and vaporwave is still a thing, it’s the perfect time for bands to show their younger peers what the days of years past were really about. As acts like Tame Impala and Neon Indian try to replicate the sounds of yesterday, it’s a breath of “fresh” vintage air when a band can stay true to the music they made back in the day without it sounding dated — while also being, y’know, actually good. Passing Through Time is a fantastic addition to the discography of one of the OG’s of the Edmonton music scene.

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