Olympia, Washington’s political post-punk outfit Underpass uses a minimalist approach to craft songs about isolation, displacement and gentrification. Formed in 2013 by Alexander Miranda, the band’s creative force behind the quartet, and his cohorts, who’s names are withheld due to border issues, N.C (bass) D.L (synths) and M.W: (floor tom and snare), create dark heavy punk at its best by incorporating large atmospheric synths, deep echoing bass lines with “Robert Smith kissed” guitar compositions and haunting vocals.
Recorded in Vancouver, BC over the course of two sleepless days and nights by Josesph Hirobiashi, then mastered By Mell Dettmer (Earth, Sunn O))), Assimilation is nothing short of a call to action. On “Stranger” Miranda recalls the cities where he came of age such as Vancouver, Seattle and Olympia that have since come and gone and he no longer recognizes due to the intense wave of development that surged through the region in the early 2000’s and still continues today. “Side” reflects more personal experience recalling a time where a friend was assaulted and stabbed multiple times while on public transit in Southern California.
Underlying the record as a whole, Miranda draws on his personal experiences growing up in a politically charge Native American family where he experienced cultural displacement, personal conflict and of course assimilation. “I really admire writers who can create songs that mean something different to everyone,” explains Miranda. “With Assimilation I tried to accomplish this by allowing the each listener to connect to the record in different ways by internalizing their own experiences and relating to it in their own unique way.”